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Full text of "The Maamtrasna massacre : impeachment of the trials"

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II B RARY 

OF THE 
U N IVERSITY 
Of ILLINOIS 



THE 



MAAMTRASNA MASSACRE. 



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BY 



T. HARRINGTON, M.P. 



( With Appendix containing Report of Trials and Correspondence 
between Most Rev. Dr. M'Evilly and the Lord Lieutenant.) 



DUBLIN : 

NATION OFFICE, 
70 MIDDLE ABBEY STREET. 

1884. 



vf 



INTRODUCTION 



Maamtrasna, the scene of the barbarous murder, whose 
strange history is treated of in the following chapters, 
is situated in the County of Galway, at the head of a 
rugged glen, running up from one of the inlets of Lough 
Mask. On the night of August 17th, 1882, a party of 
men broke into a house in this village, occupied by a 
man named John Joyce, murdered him, his mother, wife, 
and a young daughter, and inflicted upon his two sons, 
the only other occupants of the house, injuries so severe, 
that one of them died on the following day, while the 
second lay for some time in a precarious condition. 

Acting on the information of two brothers named 
Anthony and John Joyce, the police arrested, on the 
20th, ten men, all of whom resided at a considerable 
distance from the scene of the murder — some at a 
distance of seven miles. The story related ^ by those 
two brothers, supported by the son of one of them, was 
of so extraordinary a character that no one but the 
Crown officials seemed to credit it, and the suspicion 
very generally prevailed that the brothers Joyce had 
themselves more to do with the murder than the men 
they accused. However, after the customary remands 
and inquiries, the ten men were duly returned for trial 
at the Galway Assizes. 

The " Prevention of Crimes Act " being in force at 
the time, the Crown availed of its provisions to have the 
venue changed to the City of Dublin, though there was 
no suggestion in the evidence of the witnesses, and 
nothing in the circumstances of the case to warrant the 
belief that the murder was of an agrarian character. 



IV. 



Some days previous to the trial, which commenced on 
13th November, 1882, before a Special Jury of the City 
and County of Dublin, in Green Street Courthouse, it 
became known that Anthony Philbin, one of the accused, 
had become approver, and would be produced by the 
Crown to corroborate the three Joyces. 

It is needless to say that such an announcement 
caused a complete change in the public feeling with 
regard to the story related by these witnesses, and every- 
thing in their evidence which had appeared absurd or 
incredible was forgotton in view of the declaration by 
one of the accused, that he was a participator in the 
horrible tragedy and could corroborate their testimony. 
On the first day of the trial another of the accused 
offered his services to the Crown and was accepted. 

Portion of the revelations and arguments which the 
reader will meet with in these pages goes to prove that 
the first of the two approvers knew nothing of the 
murder, and was terrified into corroborating upon oath, 
a story which, even with regard to himself, was absolutely 
false ; and that the second, Thomas Casey, though an 
actual participator in the murder, and willing as well as 
able to testify the truth, yet had no other means open 
to him to save his wretched life except by corroboration 
and perjury. 

Applications on the part of prisoners' counsel for 
postponement, and for what is known as a li view jury," 
were refused. The juries were packed after the manner 
of all political and agrarian trials in Ireland. Eight 
minutes' deliberation sufficed to satisfy the mind and 
consciences of the first jury, and Patrick Joyce was 
adjudged guilty and sentenced to death. Patrick Casey 
was then immediately put upon his trial on the same 
evidence, and the jury gave 12 minutes' consideration to 

/"\ 



V. 



his fate. The learned judge, when passing sentence of 
death upon him, used the following words : — " But the 
" evidence has established clearly and conclusively, and 
" so as not to leave a doubt of your guilt upon the 
u mind of any sane person who has heard or read that 
" evidence, that you not only murdered Brigid Joyce, 
"but four other persons on that one occasion." No 
sooner was he cleared out of the dock than a third 
prisoner, Myles Joyce, was ushered in to be tried, on 
the same evidence, and before jurors who were in court 
listening to the judge's characterization of it. 

Six minutes' retirement satisfied the jury, and his 
death also was decreed. 

The fate of the three decided the issue for the re- 
mainder. Overtures were made to them to plead guilty 
on promise of escaping capital punishment. Some refused 
stoutly, and still protested they knew nothing of the 
murder. But their clergyman was called in, and he, by 
pointing out to them that if they were innocent their 
vindication might come in good time, induced them to 
accept the terms held out to them. 

The next episode in the ghastly drama was the exe- 
cution, at Gal way Jail, of the three men w T ho had been 
found guilty. A day or two before the execution two 
of the condemned sent, by direction of their spiritual 
adviser, for a magistrate, and made before him dying 
declarations, wherein each admitted his own guilt, and 
both protested that the third man, Myles Joyce, was in- 
nocent of the murder. 

The Lord Lieutenant disregarded these declarations, 
and on the 15th December, 1882, the three men were 
brought forth together to execution. The scene was a 
painful and a shocking one. Two men walked calmly 
to their fate, but the third, Myles Joyce, turned to 



; 
VI. 



every official of the jail he met, as he passed to the 
scaffold, and, with all the fiery vehemence of the Celt, 
declared, in a language which nearly all those who sur- 
rounded him were strangers to, that (e he was innocent. 
He feared not to die. But he felt the indignity of being 
put to death as a murderer." The scene on the scaffold 
itself was shocking beyond description. Even with the 
cap drawn over his eyes, and the executioner standing, 
rope in hand, to hurl the three wretched men together 
into eternity, Myles Joyce still declared his innocence ; 
and, as if eager that his very last breath on earth should 
be a protestation to that God whom he was so soon to 
meet, he turned again in the direction of the few by- 
standers, and "* called God to witness that he knew no 
more of the murder than the child unborn ;" and with 
that solemn declaration on his lips he sunk from view. 
His last effort had somewhat displaced the arrangements 
of the executioner. The rope caught in the wretched 
man's arm, and for some seconds it was seen being jerked 
and tugged in the writhing of his last agony. The grim 
hangman cast an angry glance into the pit, and then, 
hissing an obscene oath at the struggling victim, sat on 
the beam, and kicked him into eternity. 

It is needless to say that the publication of these 
harrowing particulars would, in themselves, have produced 
a sensation, but the fact which chiefly seized upon the 
public mind in Ireland was the declaration of innocence 
made by the man in his dying moments, and the public 
conscience already felt ill at ease as to the justice of the 
act that had been done. 

At this time the fact that the other two men 
made dying declarations regarding him had not leaked 
out beyond the confines of the jail. Soon, however, the 
writer of these lines became aware of it, and asked a 



Vll. 

question upon the subject in the House of Commons. 
The reply of the Chief Secretary was evasive, beyond 
admitting that the depositions had been made. Again 
and again a question as to the contents of these docu- 
ments was repeated in one form or, another, but Mr. 
Trevelyan steadily refused to give any information, and 
the Prime Minister when finally appealed to only availed 
of the question as an occasion to pay a compliment to the 
" discretion and clemency with which he knew his noble 
friend Earl Spencer discharged his duties." 

But yet the depositions which might be supposed to 
l)e the best testimony to the noble earl's discretion, &e., 
were denied to Parliament and the public. The denial 
of them strengthened suspicions already entertained, and 
gradually the feeling spread that Myles Joyce's death 
was a " judicial murder," and it was so characterised in 
Parliament by the present writer and others during the 
Session of 1883. 

The witnesses who gave evidence for the Crown 
have been all living in the locality since tKe trial under 
the protection of police. In the month of July last it was 
noticed that Thomas Casey, one of the approvers, had 
presented himself at the confessional in the church of the 
parish to which he belongs, and the fact was of course 
regarded as significant, inasmuch as it was known that 
none of the other witnesses had ever presented them- 
selves for Sacraments since the murder. 

On the 8th August His Grace the Archbishop of Tuam 
visited the parish on his annual confirmation tour. Casey 
sought an interview with His Grace, and informed him 
of his desire to make reparation by a public confession 
for the double crime of murder and perjury committed by 
him in connection with the Maamtrasna trials. The re- 
velations made by him before the archbishop, priests and 



Vlll. 

congregation assembled in the church were immediately 
brought under the notice of Parliament, and a promise 
was extracted from the Marquis of Hartington that if 
they were brought officially before the Government by 
the Most Eev. Dr. M'Evilly an inquiry would be in- 
stituted. 

Philbin, the other approver, reluctantly confessed to 
the truth of Casey's revelations. 

His Grace, the Most Rev. Dr. M'Evilly brought the 
facts under the notice of the Lord Lieutenant, and re- 
quested an inquiry. Earl Spencer replied by a memo- 
randum (to be found in the annexed Appendix), prepared 
evidently by the incriminated officials, and endeavouring 
to show that there were no grounds for suspicion, and no 
need of inquiry. This reply did not meet the case, and 
His Grace again pointed out the necessity for satisfying 
the public mind with an impartial inquiry. 

To this communication Earl Spencer directed a curt 
refusal "to re-open the subject. " 

Such, briefly, is a history of the events which led to 
the preparation of the following chapters. If they do 
not obviate inquiry on the part of Earl Spencer or the 
Government; it is hoped at least they will help the public 
to see some of the ugly facts which an inquiry would 
serve to bring forth. 

Owing to the frequent recurrence of the names 
Casey and Joyce, which are the names chiefly prevailing 
in the district, some confusion of persons will be inevitable 
to the cursory reader. Where, however, different persons 
possess the same Christian and surname a glance at the 
following list will be useful in distinguishing them : — 



IX. 

LIST OF NAMES. 



ARRESTED FOR THE MURDER. 

Patrick Joyce, Shanvallycahill, executed, guilty 

Patrick Casey, executed, guilty 

Myles Joyce, executed, innocent 

Michael Casey, penal servitude, guilty 

Martin Joyce (brother to Myles), penal servitude, innocent 

Patrick Joyce, Cappanacreha (another brother), penal servitude, 

innocent 
Tom Joyce (son of Patrick), penal servitude, innocent 

John Casey (little), Cappanacreha, penal servitude, innocent 
Anthony Philbin, approver 

Thomas Casey, approver 



THE ACTUAL MURDERERS (now alleged). 

John Casey (big), Bun-na-cnic, supposed leader, at large 

John Casey, Junr. (his son), Bun-na-cnic, at large 

Pat Joyce, Shanvallycahill executed 

Pat Casey, executed 

Pat Leyden, now in England 

Michael Casey, penal servitude 

Thomas Casey, approver 



INDEPENDENT WITNESSES. 

Anthony Joyce 

John Joyce, Derry (his brother) 

Patrick Joyce, Derry (John's son) 



OTHERS. 

John Joyce, Maamtrasna, the murdered man 

Michael Joyce (boy), do. (son), who died of wounds 

Patrick Joyce (boy), do. (son), who recovered 



John Joyce (young), Bun-na-cnic, the man whom the murderers 

called out to join them 



THE 



MA1MTRASNA MURDERS. 



THE APPROVER CASEY'S REVELATIONS ABOUT 
THE CROWN OFFICIALS. 



CHAPTER I. 

Visit to the Scene of the Murder. 

The revelations recently made by the informer, Thomas Casey, in 
connection with the horrible massacre at Maamtrasna, form but 
one, and by no means the strangest chapter, in the extraordinary 
history of this crime and its punishment. The wholesale 
character of the murder, the want of any sufficient motive to 
account for the crime, the singularly strange story of the men who 
alleged that they tracked the murderers for miles and witnessed 
the "horrible tragedy, the trials, the dying protestations, the 
reticence of Government with regard to some facts, and their un- 
wonted readiness to defend themselves by the publication of others, 
the plea of guilty made in the dock by men believed to be inocent, 
the confession of one man that though wholly ignorant of even the 
slightest knowledge of the murder, he swore himself guilty that he 
might save his own life by the sacrifice of others, and the allegation 
that the real murderers are at large, and known to the Crown, 
while men of whose innocence it is assured, lie in jail— all combine 
to form a story that might well challenge the pen of the most 
sensational novelist of our time. 

The duty to which I have devoted a few days among the 
peasantry in this wild region was not undertaken lor the purpose 
of catering to the taste of the curious and sensational. My pur- 
pose was to unravel to some extent the mystery in which this story 
is enveloped, and to strengthen the position of those who demand 
that justice shall be done. With this view I have carefully studied 
the history of the case, have travelled over the ground, measured 



certain distances, and sketched objects of importance referred to in 
evidence. I have also held repeated interviews with the families 
of the imprisoned men, with the informers and their families, and 
even conversed with the two men whom Thomas Casey states 
planned and paid for the murder. It is only by such an examina- 
tion as this, and with a copy of the evidence given at the trials in 
a man's hand, that he can properly understand the force of the 
statements that have been recently made by the informers Casey 
and Philbin. Keen as is the interest which these statements have 
created throughout Ireland, it yet but faintly reflects the feeling of 
burning anxiety aroused among the peasantry in this rugged 
glen. 

The Popular Belief 

not alone among the people of the locality, but everywhere I have 
travelled in the surrounding country, is confident and unshaken as 
to the complete innocence of Myles Joyce, who was executed, and 
his brothers, Martin and Pat, who are in penal servitude, as well 
as Pat's son Thomas, and John Casey, who are also in penal servi- 
tude. Indeed in this respect at least the confession of Thomas 
Casey was no revelation to the people of Maamtrasna and Cappa- 
nacreha. Local gossip has long ago threshed out every feature of 
the case which presents itself to their untutored minds, and evidence 
of the very strongest character has come under my notice to con- 
vince me that long even before the Crown had proved its case the 
women had got into one another's confidence during their visits to 
Cong and Gaiway and Dublin in connection with their husbands' 
defence, and no doubt remained with them, at least as to the men 
who were out of their beds on the fatal night, and the men who 
were not. Belief in the innocence of these men is by no means 
confined to the populace. In the course of my investigation I had 
many opportunities of meeting the police who are a long time 
resident in the locality scattered over the glen in barracks, huts, 
and protection posts, and wherever I had an opportunity of getting 
into confidential relations with a member of the force I found him 
to share fully the popular belief as to the guilty and the innocent. 
It is no exaggeration to say that there is not a peasant in the 
district — and scarcely a policeman — (who, by the way, are almost 
as numerous here as the peasantry) that attaches the slightest 
credence to the evidence of the three Joyces, the so-called 
independent witnesses. Everyone can repeat the story of the 
manner in which Anthony Joyce, whose brain is believed to have 
conceived the " independent evidence," learned with surprise of the 
murder of his cousin John the next day from a little girl, his 
daughter, who came to the bog where he was working with several 
more of his neighbours, and there is no man in the district more 
anxious to emphasise this fact than Anthony's own brother, 
Michael Joyce. They point, at the same time to the fact that 



before Anthony put his strange story into shape he first took care 
to go to the house of the murdered family, and by inspection assure 
himself that there should be no circumstance in the number of 
bullet wounds, or the position of affairs generally, that could give 
contradiction to his story ; and, having so far satisfied himself, he 
summoned a small family council in his brother John's house, to 
which only John, his son and daughter were invited, and then 
Anthony sought the police. 

Before entering into details, as I shall have to do pretty fully 
in the following, it may be convenient to state down here in 
general terms what are 

The Results of my Inquiry. 

[n the first place, I hope to be able to show that the tale which 
the three Joyces related as to their having tracked the murderers 
was not only doubtful and incredible, but impossible ; that each 
of their statements is contradictory ; and the whole three at 
variance with one another. I shall show that Philbin, the 
informer, so far from being, as he swore, present at the murder, 
did not even know the locality, and that his evidence discredits 
rather than corroborates the Joyces, while the original evidence 
of Thomas Casey differs from all in many points of striking im- 
portance. I hope also to satisfy my readers as to the motives 
which prompted the murderers as well as the motives which in- 
fluenced Anthony Joyce and his brother in wrongfully accusing 
his three cousins, Myles, Martin and Pat, and the manner in 
which Anthony was able to bring a grain of truth into his story, 
by having four guilty men among the ten whom he charged. 
Furthermore, I am in a position to show — and I make no light 
estimate of the gravity of the charge, and the difficulties which 
may lie in the way of its proof — that the authorities had in their 
possession at the time of the trial evidence which would have 
completely proved the story of the Joyces to be a fabrication, 
and that they chose to suppress this evidence rather than dis- 
credit the testimony of those so-called independent witnesses. 
And now, when the truth is forced upon them, they suffer the 
actual murderers to remain at large, within half a mile of the 
scene of the massacre, rather than discredit their former pro- 
ceedings by a new trial. My inquiries have also resulted in a 
full corroboration in every essential detail of the story unfolded 
by Thomas Casey in his recent revelations, and given by him to 
me in a manner much more minute and circumstantial than it has 
yet appeared. 

The difficulties which have to be overcome in pursuing inquiry 
into this extraordinary case are by no means slight. To those 
presented by the locality, and the almost impassible mountain 
track upon which the traveller has to trust himself to the instinct 
of his sure-footed pony, are to be added the extreme reluctance 



4 

of the people to give any information in view of possible and 
Very probable prosecutions against some of their near neighbours 
or relatives, and the fact that English is almost completely 
unknown among them, and any attempt at seeking information 
except through the medium of their mother tongue must end in 
failure. 

On the tirst occasion of my visit to the district, I was ac- 
companied by Rev. J. Corbet, P.P., Partry, and his curate, Rev. 
J. M'Donnell. Glensaul, where the two approvers, Thomas Casey 
and Anthony Philbin reside, is in the parish of Partry, or, more 
correctly speaking, Toomakeady ; but Maamtrasna, as well as 
Derry, Cappanacreha, and Shanvallycahill, are portion of the ex- 
tensive parish of Ross, whose P.P. is the Rev. Father IVlellet, of 
Clonbur. Neither of my reverend companions had ever before 
been in the district where the murder was committed. But I 
could soon see that the fame of the rev. Pastor of Partry had pre- 
ceded him, that they were not unacquainted with the strong bond 
of sympathy between him and his people, while his skill in the 
use of their mother tongue made them quite at ease. Even my 
own very imperfect knowledge of it, which enabled me with some 
difficulty to hold converse with them, was, next to the introduc- 
tion by the sogg art, the surest passport which I could possess ; 
and, though my sins against syntactical law must have been 
manifold and grievous, and occasionally excited their laughter, I 
yet found they had not the same dread of my open note book 
that tbey would have in the case of a more un-Irish " special." 

Protestations of Innocence. 
In a public letter upon this case I had occasion to refer to the 
dying declarations of the two men Pat Joyce and Pat Casey, who 
were executed with Myles Joyce. I may mention in passing, that 
this man Pat Joyce was not a relative of Myles. The recent 
official memorandum (see Appendix) of the Under-Secretary, as 
well as the answers of Mr. Trevelyan in Parliament, purported to 
draw attention to some vagueness in the declarations in which these 
men asserted the innocence of Myles Joyce. Facts which have 
since come to my knowledge show up in a very unpleasant light 
this trick on the part of the Castle officials. Both men were 
purley Irish- speaking peasants, and the attempt to discredit their 
dying declarations upon the ground of vagueness, is as disgraceful 
a sham as Castle government in Ireland ever attempted. I am 
furthermore assured that, so far from being vague., their declara- 
tions distinctly state the innocence, not alone of Myles Joyce, but 
of the other four men now in penal servitude, and corroborate to 
the full Casey's statements of the number of persons who were 
present at the murder. If that be so, a very ready explanation is 
afforded of the reluctance of Earl Spencer to produce these deposi- 
tions. From an official source of undoubted veracity, I learned, 



before I visited Maamtrasna, that four men in penal servitude, 
whose innocence Casey recently deposed to, have, from the very 
day of their reprieve, declared in the most emphatic language their 
entire innocence of any complicity in the murder, while the fifth 
man has never concealed his guilt, as I shall show later on. 

This fact received striking corroboration from inquiries which 
we made immediately on our visit to the place. We found that 
long before Casey made his revelations these four men, ignorant of 
all that was passing in the world outside, invariably referred in 
their letters home to their unjust incarceration. I append a few 
specimens of their letters. Their simple, artless style will tell 
more eloquently than any words of mine could with sympathetic 
readers. As early as June, 1883, John Casey thus wrote to his 
wife : — 

" Her Majesty's Convict Prison, 

" Mountjoy, Dublin, 15th June, 1883. 

<l Dear Mary — I received your welcome letter after I came to this 
prison. I was very happy to find you and children and friends were all 
right well. I am very well myself, thank God. 1 am going to school every 
day, and to chapel every day. We have Mass three times a week. I have 
nothing to complain of ; everything is very cleane. I have flannels and a 
good bed and good cloths ; write whin you get this, and let me know how 
my mother is, and my brother my sister and her family, your father and 
mother, and brothers, and did you here from your sister ; also let me know 
how Michael Connboy and his family, and your old uncle Pat, or is he alive 
yet; also Napy Liden. Dear Mary, it itt very hard to be here for a crime 
that I know nothing about. Thanks be to God I know nothing whatever about 
it. But I fret more for you and the children then I do for myself ', for you know 
as well as I do myself that I had no hand in that act. You need not fret, for 
God is good, and we will all be happy yet with the help of God. Let me know 
when you write have you any pigs, how the crops are, and did you pay the 
rint yet, and I hope yon and I will be happy together yd, icith the help of God 
No more at present from your loving husband, 

"John Casey. 

"To Mary Casey," 

Twelve months later he wrote \ — 

V Mountjoy, Dublin, 27, G, '84. 

" My Dear Wife — It gave me great pleasure to learn from your last 
letter that you were all well. I am in very good health, thank God. I 
have every convenience. 

" When writing let me know how is my mother, and brother, my sister 
and family, and your own father and mother also, and brothers. Let me 
know did your sister send for Thomas. Let me know how is Michae 1 
Conboy and family. I wish to know do your uncle Patrick and wife live 
Let me know how is Napy Lyden. I hope you and the priest will petition 
the Lord Lieutenant as quickly as possible. It is very hard for me to have 
been in prison and separated from my family, especially as I am innocent. Let 
me know are the crops promising this year. You wished to know in the last 
letter had I been working hard, and also used I get tobacco. I have not 
been working hard. As for getting tobacco that is contrary to the rules 
1 wish to know did Peter get married. I hope he and father will mind the 



children in my absence. L hope that will not be very long. Keep good 
courage and I will do the same. / hope everything will come to light hen- 
after. I don't expect to be always here. 

" No more at present, and remain, with fond love, 

" John Casey. 
"Mary Casey." 

Martin Joyce (brother to Myles Joyce, who was executed, 
and Pat Joyce, who is also in jail) wrote as follows to his wife a 
week before our visit : — 

"•Mount joy Prison, 5th Sept., 1884. 

" My Dear Wife — I am very happy to inform you that I am in the 
enjoyment of excellent health, thank God. I hope yourself and the children 
are enjoying the same blessing. When you write send me all the news of 
yourself and the children, and how you all are getting along, your mother 
in particular. I hope she is strong and in good health ; Bridget Lyons and 
her children, also my brother Anthony and his family, and John Casey's 
family. I hope they are well. John is in good health himself here. Let 
me know also when you write how is John Duffy and his wife, Michael 
Casey and his wife and family. I hope they are all well. Give my blessl 
sing to Mrs. Casey. 

" I hope that God in his just mercy, ivho saved me from death, will yet show 
to the world my innocence of any participation in the crime for which I am the 
innocent sufferer. My dear wife, I also wish to let you know that my brother 
Pat has been removed to Maryborough prison about a week ago. He was 
sent there for his own good, through the kindness of the doctor, for he 
wasn't sick, only a little lonely for leaving us here behind him. It is about 
50 i^iles from here, and a fine healthy place. Don't forget to mention when 
you write how the crops are, and- how you are advanced with the harvest. 
Write as soon as you can. — Your affectionate husband, 

" Maktin Joyce." 



CHAPTER II. 



The Case for the Crown. 

Before touching upon what I believe will be found the true 
history of the Maamtrasna massacre, or calling in the aid of any 
revelations recently made by the approvers, it is well, first of all, 
to examine the case as it was presented by the Crown at the trial, 
and to see how much may be gathered from it to favour the theory 
as to the innocence of some of the accused. The memorandum 
published by the Under-Secretary some time since, in reply to His 
Grace the Archbishop of Tuam, sought to discredit the revelations 
of the approvers, Casey and Philbin, upon the ground that both 
men were desirous to get back into favour with the people among 
whom they live. If the Crown is justified in assuming that a 
sufficient reason to doubt their confessions, I think I may safely 
take it that what they themselves style " a desire to save their 
necks " would furnish sufficient motive to them to lie in their 
original evidence. 



Relations between Accused and Accusers. 

For the present, therefore, we may leave out of consideration 
their testimony at the trial, and confine ourselves to the three 
Joyces, called by courtesy " independent witnesses." That these 
men lived in perpetual feud with the accused is beyond all ques- 
tion. Myles Joyce, who was executed, lived within two hundred 
yards of Anthony Joyce, while Pat Joyce and his son Thomas, at 
present in penal servitude, resided still nearer. Their little hold- 
ings are mixed in and out among one another, and the rough slight 
little stone fences that divide them here and there afforded ample 
opportunity for quarrel by the trespass of the cattle of one on the 
farm of the other. But the main cause of their quarrels — the 
same cause that has led to many a crime in the district, and that 
will be found to be at the bottom both of this barbarous murder in 
the first instance, and the judicial murder in the second — arose from 
the intermingling of their sheep on the mountainjpasture, held by 
them in common, and the ready means which it afforded to any 
man to help himself to the sheep of his neighbour. For a period 
of thirteen years preceding the trial Anthony Joyce and Myles 
Joyce had spoken to one another only in quarrel ; and a very short 
time before the murder at Maamtrasna Myles got a month's 
imprisonment in Galway Jail from Anthony for assault arising 
out of one of these disputes. They fought on the boreen between 
their houses, and though Myles Joyce bore from his neighbours 
the best character of any man in the locality, Anthony knew the 
trick of the law too well for him, and succeeded in* imprisoning 
him. 

One circumstance in their relations with one another is 
worthy of note as illustrating the characters of both men. A child 
of Anthony Joyce's died, and Myles, for the first time in many 
years, went to Anthony's house to the wake. Some time later it 
happened that a similar affliction befel Myles himself. Anthony 
was obdurate in his enmity, and never went near Myles house to 
show his sympathy. With Pat Joyce, Myles' brother, who is 
now in penal servitude, Anthony carried on perpetual war. They 
were at law with one another for trespass and assault almost every 
other month, and on one occasion, when returning at night from 
the court, Pat was severely beaten by men whom Anthony is 
accused of having employed for the purpose. Martin, the second 
brother of Myles Joyce, who is now in prison, besides his 
sympathy with his brothers, had a quarrel on his own account 
with Anthony and his brother John, and was accused by them of 
having drowned in the lake a mare and foal belonging to John, 
the second of the independent witnesses. Pat Joyce, of Shan- 
valley cahill, was accused by them of being concerned in this 
transaction also ; while the Casey s, who were John Joyce's imme- 



diate neighbours, were always engaged in the same quarrels with 
him that the other Joyces waged with the brother Anthony. 

Now, even assuming that the immense sums of money which 
these two brothers received from the Crown did not warp their 
" independence " or the honesty of their evidence, have we not at 
least in the circumstances above related good grounds for treating 
their accusation against these men with suspicion 1 These facts 
cannot be disputed. When it suited the purpose of the Crown 
they were freely proclaimed. In endeavouring to account for the 
extraordinary story of Anthony Joyce about pursuing the men for 
miles at night, the Attorney- General, now Mr. Justice Johnson, 
said at the trial : — 

" There was reason why Anthony Joyce thought it necessary to keep an 
eye upon the party, and they (the jury) would see that from a cross-examina- 
tion by the prisoner at the bar (Pat Joyce), because before the magistrates 
he asked John Joyce had he not a spite against him, and he replied that 
there was not an outrage in the country that he was not at the head of, and 
that he should have been hanged years ago." 

The Independent Testimony. 

To enable my readers to follow the observations I shall have to 
make upon the evidence of the Joyces, as well as to grasp the state 
of the case before Casey and Phil bin became approvers, it will be 
necessary for me to quote in full the evidence of one of these 
witnesses. I shall take that of Anthony Joyce, for beyond all 
question to him belongs the credit of laying the plot of the case for 
the Crown. I quote from the Freeman report of the trial of Pat 
Joyce, of Shanvallycahill : — 

'* Anthony Joyce was examined through the interpreter by Mr. 
Murphy — He recollected the night of the 17th August. He was not sure at 
what hour he went to bed that night. When he had been in bed some time 
the barking of his dogs awoke him. He got up and went to the door, and 
saw six men, whom he did not know at first. He then went round to the 
back of his house and he saw the six men again there. He then recognised 
the six men. Their names were — Anthony Philbin, Tom Casey, Martin 
Joyce, Myles Joyce, Patrick Joyce, and Tom Joyce, of Cappanacreha. He 
had known four of the men since his youth, but two of them lived some 
distance away from him, Tom Casey and Anthony Philbin. Witness after 
a time went to the house of his brother, having nothing on him but his 
shirt, trousers, and a flannel vest. He went the ' short cut/ his brother and 
nephew came out. He then observed the six men going to the house of 
Michael Casey. Witness and his brother and nephew followed them. They 
went into Casey's house, and on coming out they went the back road. The 
number of men at this time was ten. The other four were Pat Joyce (Shan- 
vallycahill), Patrick Casey, John Casey, and Michael Casey. Witness saw 
them coming out of a house and went behind a hedge. Witness went down 
after them, accompanied by his brother and nephew. The ten men then 
went towards the lake until they came to the river Strangalaun, when they 
crossed the river and went towards Maamtrasna. Witness and his com- 
panions were following them, no matter where they might go. He knew 
John Joyce's house at Maamtrasna. He saw the ten men go up to that 
house, and then he heard a noise at the door. At this time witness, his 
brother, and nephew were behind a bush. Some of the ten men went in and 
others remained outside. Witness heard noise like people beating at the 



9 

door. He heard people in the house shouting and screeching. He could 
not distinguish the screams of women from those of men. He did not wait 
after that, but he and his brother and nephew ran back as quickly as they 
could to their own houses. "Witness stayed with his brother from that time 
until the break of day. He saw the police next day about dinner time. On 
Saturday he was at Finny, and saw some of the men taken by the police." 

Even to a person who has never seen the locality this extra- 
ordinary story presents difficulties amounting to incredulity, and 
everyone who remembers the time when the Joyces first made 
their tale public knows that it was laughed at as absurd until the 
corroboration of the informers ; but it is only upon a minute examina- 
tion of the route described and the other circumstances detailed in 
the evidence that the audacity of its concoction can be properly 
appreciated. One fact necessary to be kept in mind through the 
whole examination of these men's evidence is that. the night of the 
murder was quite dark. Reference to the calendar would prove 
this, but the Attorney- General in his statement of the case 
admitted that " the new moon was about her fourth day, and 
therefore there was not much light." The distance which they 
alleged they travelled that night, creeping stealthily, three men in 
pursuit of ten, whose purpose they allege they did not know, is 
three miles at the very least computation. From the evidence, one 
would naturally assume that alleged pursuit took place along a 
fairly level road. So far from this being the case, there is not 
scarcely in all the mountain districts of Ireland a path more 
difficult to travel either by day or night. Under no circumstances 
could two men walk abreast along one hundred yards of it. Run- 
ning along the mountain side, parallel to the shore of the lake, and 
about midways between it and the summit of the mountain this 
path forms the boundary between the cultivated patches and the 
barren mountain slieve. On the lower side it is defined by a low 
fence guarding the cultivated patches, but on the right or 
mountain side there is for the most part no fence 
except here and there — the sides of the rocks by which it 
leads. Deep mountain ravines with small streams cut it at various 
intervals, and at those places loose rolling stones cover the track 
and would be likely to reveal the pursuer at a much greater 
distance than his vision could reach on a dark- night. Such is the 
character of the road by which Anthony Joyce and his brother and 
nephew followed, as they allege, barefooted, a party of ten men at 
dead of a dark night through the mere curiosity of learning what 
they meant to do. Now, Anthony Joyce's house is situated 47 
feet from the road, on the left side, as one proceeds by the track 
he alleged to have been taken by the accused. The house is built 
at right angles to the road, or boreen, with the door facing east- 
ward, but a barn built from the end of the house runs in front, 
parallel to the road, rendering it impossible to obtain a view 
of the road at any nearer distance than 80 or 100 yards from 



10 

the door, and here it only commands a view of 4 or 5 yards 
in length. Anthony Joyce could only see the road from 
his open door, for there is no window in the house affording 
a view of the road. To credit this portion of his story we should 
believe that on a very dark night he could discern six men against 
the black mountain background, at a distance of 80 or 100 yards. 
He was awakened from sleep, he says, by his dogs barking. 
What became of the dogs when he opened the door and looked 
out? Does any one believe they would not have run at the 
passers-by, or, at least, so alarmed them as to attract attention to 
his opening the door as the men approached it 1 Had these 
men such a feeling of perfect security passing the house of their 
greatest enemy, that neither the barking of his dogs nor the open- 
ing of his door attracted their observation 1 Now, two out of the 
six men lived nearer to the scene of the murder than Anthony 
Joyce. They were the two men, Pat and Tom Joyce, father and 
son, who are now in prison. What could have brought them past 
his house ? If they were to join a murderous expedition on that 
night, does any one believe they would not have gone direct to the 
alleged place of rendezvous, instead of parading backwards and 
forwards before the house of their greatest living enemy, Anthony 
Joyce 1 The recognition, he says, took place back of his house. 
If he dressed himself even partially, as he describes, before going 
back of the house, the men must have been too far gone to recog- 
nise them. If, on the other hand, this partial dressing took place 
after recognising them, then his theory that he reached his brother's 
house before them is impossible. Upon either of these grounds 
Joyce's story must break down, and no jury having an opportunity 
of examining the place would ever have given it a moment's con- 
sideration. 

Again, let us take another point in his evidence. He went to 
the house of his brother, he says, and knocked and woke him in 
sufficient time to show him the men approaching Michael Casey's 
house. Now, such a thing as a " short cut" is out of the question. 
The boreen is the most direct path between the houses, save that 
as both are to the left of the road a man might cut the fields 
parallel to the boreen. But'surely the boreen would be an easier 
course to take than jumping over the fences that intervene, and 
exposing a man " wearing a white flannel vest" to the danger of 
being seen. John Joyce's house is about 400 yards distant from 
Anthony's, and Michael Casey's is just almost in a line with 
John Joyce's, but a few yards farther on. The view which all 
three Joyces say they got of the men entering Michael Casey's 
house at this point is simply impossible. Even in the broad day 
light Casey's house is not visible from John Joyce's, for a large 
barn and a double fence lined with trees shade Joyce's house from 
view of the road and of Casey's house, which is nearer the road. 



11 

The distance of John Joyce's house from the road by the most 
direct line is 122 yards, and no human eye could discern figures 
against the dark background of the mountain on such a night as 
we have described. I tried the experiment on one of the brightest 
days we have enjoyed this year, by asking one of the police who 
stood watching my movements as I sketched John Joyce's house 
whether he could tell me which of the constables was standing on 
the road facing us 1 After considerable hesitation, he said " he 
thought it was Constable Murphy, for he was the stoutest of the 
four men in the hut." Now, Casey's house, where the Joyces 
allege they saw the six men entering, is farther away. It can 
scarcely be less than 200 yards, and yet John Joyce swore that 
on the dark night in question he was so well able to see six men 
at that distance that, though he did not then know them, he did 
recognise them among ten who afterwards came out of the house, 
while in the same breath he swore that the whole ten men 
wore dark clothes, and would give no more definite description 
of the dress of any of them. This is a sample of the indepen- 
dent testimony upon which the authorities now rely to discredit 
the confessions of Casey and Philbin. Almost at every point 
of their evidence the same difficulty presents itself. They were 
studipusly and cleverly vague and indefinite in all they de- 
posed to ; but yet, wherever they were reduced to particulars, 
their story becomes impossible. 

In order to give themselves an opportunity of recognising the 
ten men, they bring themselves back of Michael Oasey's house, 
waiting for them while they were in. Now back of Michael 
Casey's house means nearer to Maamtrasna, the scene of the 
massacre. Why should those three men go back of Michael 
Casey's house to watch 1 They could not see the door from the 
position they allege they occupied. The men who went in could 
come out of Casey's house and go back again to Anthony 
Joyce's house without being observed by the three waiting seven 
yards behind the house which, from there, is concealed by a thick 
row of trees. They could not swear they believed the six men 
to be going to Maamtrasna. Why wait at all for them while 
they were in Michael Casey's house? And, if they did wait, 
why assume the men would go on to Maamtrasna instead of re- 
turning to their homes ? 

I shall show later on how strangely Philbin's evidence clashes 
with the Joyces at this point. Equally incredible is the story of 
the Joyces at every material point of the case. They alleged they 
took a "short cut" after leaving the school at Derry, and crossed 
to Maamtrasna to the house of the murdered man. Why should 
they assume that the ten men intended to go to that house % Then, 
again, strangest of all, why not goto the police barrack so near the 
scene of the murder, and call in the assistance of the police? 



12 

Why not take the men red-handed after the murder if it was not 
possible to seize them in time to prevent it 1 The car road to 
Finny police-station was the easiest, the shortest, and the safest 
mode of retreat open to those men who allege they were frightened, 
but yet they never sought the police. But the strangest fact of all, 
perhaps, is this — that the house of the murdered family was in the 
middle of a row of some ten houses, extending along the path or 
" street," as one of the witnesses called it, and these houses are 
nearly all occupied by Joyces and O'Briens, cousins of the mur- 
dered man and his wife. Anthony Joyce, himself, was a cousin of 
the murdered man. Yet his story is that he and his brother and 
nephew stood looking on at this cold-blooded massacre of his first 
cousin, while John (Mary) Joyce, Michael (Mary) Joyce, Michael 
(Pat) Joyce, Thomas O'Brien, and Michael O'Brien, all relatives 
of the murdered family, lived within a hundred yards or so of the 
house, and he never called them to stay the hand of the assassins. 
When I, in company with my reverend friends, called at Anthony's 
house on the first day of our visit to the glen, we were immediately 
struck with the reluctance he and his brother exhibited in coming 
to speak to us. A man with an honest story would scarcely have 
striven to avoid examination of it. Their attitude in this respect 
contrasted very much with that of Thomas Casey. But the con- 
duct of the women was most remarkable. Both Anthony's wife 
and John's wife were most careful to avoid any corroboration of 
the story of their husbands. Women under such circumstances 
have a repugnance of telling a lie to the priest, and they always 
met our query as to whether they heard the husband get up or 
knew he. was out by — " Indeed, I don't know anything about it. 
Ask him. He says he knows it all." Anthony did very grudg- 
ingly answer a few questions, but as I held his evidence in my 
hand, and reminded my reverend friend of a} discrepancy, Father 
Corbett said — " That is not what you swore in Dublin !" Anthony 
replied, in very ungracious accents, " Well, whatever I swore in 
Dublin, I'll swear again. You are trying to make an angel in 
heaven of Casey, but did he not swear he was at the murder, and 
sure some of them admitted they were guilty." 

I could not avoid the reflection that this was the voice of a 
man engaged in a hopeless controversy with his conscience to con- 
vince it that bringing justice upon the heads of a few guilty atoned 
for perjury and the sacrifice of some who were innocent. 



CHAPTER III. 



The Crown Case — Continued, 
Having entered somewhat minutely into the evidence offered at 
the trial by Anthony Joyce, the principal of the so-called u inde- 
pendent witnesses," it will not be necessary to weary my readers 



13 

with so detailed an examination of the evidence of his brother 
and nephew. If their strange tale were true, we should naturally 
expect to find them in agreement upon at least the main points of 
the case ; and if, as I allege and hope to convince my readers, 
their evidence was from beginning to end pure fabrication, then 
also they should take care to make their statements agree in the 
main, and the story had been repeated by each of them six times 
in presence of the magistrates before they came to the edition 
which I have to deal with — viz., the evidence at the trial. 

The most striking feature of agreement, however, which we 
meet in their statements is the vagueness with which every point 
of the story is related. It is difficult to refrain from admiring 
the skill with which they deal in generalities and the manner in 
which they avoid the specific statement of any particulars that 
might involve disagreement or contradiction. 

Neither of them would say what hour at night they turned 
out ; which of the men passed them first or last at the alleged 
point of recognition ; what description of clothes any particular 
man wore ; what man entered the house of the murder and what 
man did not ; how many shots were fired ; what description of 
arms the accused carried, nor any word they heard them speak to 
one another. Necessarily, however, they were drawn into an 
occasional particular here and there by cross-examination, and as 
the replies to these questions did not form part of the original 
plot, the approvers Casey and Philbin, who had not the advantage 
of hearing these few particulars related for them six, times before 
the magistrates, make sad havoc when they came to offer their 
" corroboration:" 

Here is a brief extract, worthy of special note, from the 
evidence of John Joyce, the brother of Anthony : — 

" All my family were in bed. Anthony woke me, and I went out with 
him. I saw six persons near my house, but did not know them. I saw them 
go into Michael Casey's house, which is not far from mine. When they came 
out from Casey's house there were ten men in the party. I then knew them 
all. When they came out of Casey's house I teas able to recognise the six who 
had formed the first party." 

Now, I have already pointed out the distance of Michael 
Casey's house from John Joyce's. Even assuming that Joyce 
came out and stood on the high ground between his house and 
Casey's, the men would still be nearly two hundred yards from 
him. There can be no doubt this is the nearest distance his tale 
would admit of, for he says in cross-examination afterwards, that 
the men were in Casey's while he was crossing the intervening 
field. How, in the name of common sense, could any man — even 
a Dublin special juror — be induced to believe that on this very 
dark night in question John Joyce was so well able to see the six 
men who entered a house two hundred yards away that he recog- 
nized them among ten who some time subsequently came out of 



14 

the house 1 Just let anyone consider how long it would take him 
to mark six men walking together at that distance in the broad 
daylight so minutely as to know them among ten afterwards, and 
then he will have some idea how easy the task would be on a 
dark night, when even a close look into a man's face is necessary 
for recognition. But perhaps a very marked distinction in their 
dress — some bright dazzling colour that dispels 200 yards of dark- 
ness — lent its aid on the occasion. Unfortunately John Joyce 
gives evidence against himself here, for the following passage 
occurs in his subsequent cross-examination : — 

" Could you describe the dresss of any of the men ? I could not tell you 
how any of them were dressed. They all wore dark clotltes" 

If there were no other point in this man's testimony to render 
it unworthy of credit, this in itself would be sufficient. But 
everywhere it is equally absurd and incredible. His dogs, for 
example, are made to act in strange contrast to Anthony's dogs, 
and, indeed, to dogs in general. Anthony's sagacious brutes woke 
him up out of bed before the men had appeared at all in view of 
his house, and he was just at the door prepared for observation at 
the identical moment the six men were passing the five or six 
yards of the boreen which the view from the door commands. 
But John's dogs, knowing well the conduct that was required of 
them, at a later stage of the plot, never barked at all when 
Anthony came to their door at dead of night to wake up 
John and his boy Pat, and tell them his mysterious story about 
the six men on the road. " I opened the door at once," says 
truthful John Joyce. " I have dogs, but they did not bark." Of 
course, if these dogs barked they would have aroused the suspi- 
cion of the men alleged to be entering Casey's house, and so they 
discreetly held their tongues. 

But I shall not dwell upon petty details of this kind. I know 
how uninteresting they must be to the general reader, and the reve- 
lations I shall have to make before I close my observations will 
render too minute an examination of this class of evidence unne- 
cessary. It is well, however, to keep in mind the fact that these 
were the links of the chain of evidence upon which one innocent 
man was consigned to a murderer's grave, and four innocent men 
still lie suffering in jail. The only other independent witnesses 
relied upon by the Crown are Pat Joyce and Mary Joyce, the 
children of John. Mary is the only one of the women of the 
families that came forward to sustain the plot of the Joyces. 
Anthony's wife and children seem to have slept in security while 
he was away five or six hours, at dead of night, on 
his alleged expedition in pursuit of evidence, and John's 
wife and daughter Kate, also slept tranquilly. "How do 
you account for Mary Joyce coming forward to give evicjjence V 
I said to a man living in the neighbourhood of the Joyces. " She 



15 

never came forward, sir," he said, " until some weeks after 
the father and uncle gave evidence, and only then because it 
was reported that her father and Anthony were to be taken 
themselves for the murder. Everyone said they would have been 
put on their trial, as no one believed their story." This fact I got 
full corroboration of later on. 

Mary's evidence, stated briefly, is this : — That she heard her 
uncle coming to the house and calling her father and brother out 
of bed, and telling them about the six men, and that she re- 
mained awake until their return. What strange conduct on the 
part of this girl not to have called up the other members of the 
family, nor even to take the trouble to look out and see what 
happened the father and brother and uncle during the four or five 
hours of the night that they must have been absent. Neither 
Mary, the father, nor brother would approach me or my reverend 
companion on the occasion of our visit to their house. They were 
at work in a field close by, their police escort basking lazily in 
the warm sun near the fence, and, though sent for by the other 
members of the family, they refused to come. Like Anthony's 
wife, Mrs. John declined to commit herself to any statement. 
" She knew nothing about it." The following extract from the 
dialogue between herself and my reverend companion is, however, 
very instructive : — 

" Surely you know whether Anthony Joyce came to your house that 
night ?" 

" Indeed I don't know anything about the case. Ask himself." 

" Were you not sleeping with your husband ? You should"hear him if he 
came to the house and called your husband ?" 

" I was sleeping with him. Why not I hear the voice ?" 

" Did you hear it ?" 

" Why not I hear it ? 2 ' 

" Did any of your children hear it ?" 

" I don't know, indeed. There is always heavy sleep on young people ?" 

Nothing could be more clear than this woman's desire to evade 
telling a direct lie, and at the same time to guard against our 
getting from the younger members of the family any information 
that would condemn her husband. 

One extraordinary feature of the story told by these Joyces 
seems to have altogether escaped observation at the trial. In 
their evidence they all allege that they left the scene of the murder 
when they heard the screaming in the house. The family thus 
attacked at night were cousins of theirs. Yet they never came 
next morning, nor sent to inquire whether any murder had actually 
been committed amongst them, or find out how many, and who 
had been murdered. 

Important Revelation. 
But it would not be just to those who follow the history of 
this extraordinary case to waste a long time in pointing to 
inconsistencies and absurdities in the evidence of those men, while 



16 

the relation of one important fact which I discovered in the course 
of my investigation completely and for ever sets the brand of per- 
jury and falsehood upon their tale. Nice distinctions as to dis- 
tances, minute examination of circumstances, contrasts and com- 
parisons, may all be dismissed from consideration when I announce 
to my readers that beyond all question of doubt the men who 
murdered John Joyce and his family were disguised, had blackened 
faces, and wore white flannel vests, called among the peasantry of 
the West hawneens. One may well startle at being asked to 
believe that perjury so deliberate, so manifest, so diabolical in its 
conception and destructive in its effects would be committed by 
men of the class of Anthony and John Joyce. But what will 
my readers say when I ask them to believe that responsible 
officials of the Crown knew of this perjury and connived at it by 
suppressing the fact which I have now brought to light for the 
first time 1 Here is a crux for my Lord Spencer and his co- 
administrators in Dublin Castle. What now becomes of the 
famous memorandum in reply to his Grace the Archbishop of 
Tuam 1 If Earl Spencer cares to verify the fact, if he has any 
desire to bring peace to the official conscience for the death of 
Myles Joyce, let him pay a visit to Artane Industrial School and 
talk to the intelligent young child, Patrick Joyce, who was left 
for dead by the murderers ; or let him go and consult the police of 
the locality to whom this boy and the elder brother who suc- 
cumbed to his wounds gave this important information on the 
morning after the murder. 

Why was it not followed up ? Why were not the guilty pur- 
sued ? Did it make no difference to the Crown officials whether 
their victim were guilty or innocent provided a holocaust of some 
kind were offered ? Earl Spencer may refuse inquiry ; he may 
not deem the life of a Connemara peasant and the lifelong liberty 
of a few others of sufficient importance to put his official satellites 
to the trouble of an inquiry. But it is beyond his power and 
theirs now to conceal the truth any longer, and the issue shall be 
inquiry, or confession of guilt. In a future chapter I shall des- 
cribe the manner in which I came to learn and verify the 
important fact above mentioned, but that there may be no justifi- 
cation or defence for the conduct of Crown officials, I shall first 
have some criticisms to offer upon the evidence of the two ap- 
provers. — 

CHAPTER IV. 

The Evidence of the Approvers at the Trial. 

In the letter of the Under-Secretary to his Grace the Arch- 
bishop of Tuam, he states that :— 

"There was ample evidence at the trial given by three unimpeaohed and 
independent witnesses to convict all the prisoners without the evidence of 
Thomas Casey or Anthony Philbin, and their recent statements do not shake 



17 

that testimony, which plainly established that Myles Joyce and the prisoners 
now undergoing penal servitude were themselves members of that party 
who participated in, or actually committed, the murders of the Joyce 
family." 

Few, I think, who have taken pains to follow the observations 
I have made up to the present with regard to this branch of the 
evidence will be disposed to agree with the view of the Under- 
Secretary. That the brothers Anthony and John Joyce and 
John's son were not unimpeachable or independent witnesses— 
that their evidence was not sufficient to bring guilt to any of the 
accused ; in fact, that from beginning to end it was perjury of the 
blackest dye, I have, I think,, fully and clearly established. But 
I propose to go farther, and to show that the evidence of these so- 
called " unimpeached witnesses," and the evidence of the informers 
combined, did not furnish grounds sufficient to deprive any man 
of his liberty, much less of his life. With this view I propose to 
offer a few criticisms upon the evidence given at the trial by 

The Informers. 

My contention simply is this — that Philbin, the first of the 
informers, was not at the scene of the murder and knew nothing 
of it ; and that Thomas Casey, the other approver, though guilty 
and knowing the truth, found it necessary, as he says himself, to 
commit perjury and corroborate the Joyces, as the only condition 
upon which " he could save his neck." On the 4th of November, 
ten days before the trial, Philbin entered into treaty with Mr. 
George Bolton and offered to give evidence. Assuming that he 
had no knowledge of the murder, it was very easy for kirn at this 
date to corroborate the story of the Joyces, for he had heard them 
repeat it at least six times in evidence, and heard it still more 
frequently in the reading of their depositions. 

I shall not attempt to say how often or how long Mr. George 
Bolton and Mr. Anthony Philbin met in conference — for I am 
examining the case, not upon Philbin's recent confessions, but 
solely upon the admissions of the Crown. It is agreed, however, 
that he made a deposition on the 9th November, and another— 
presumably an improved edition — on the 10th, Mr. Bolton being 
the witness to each. What can be said for the administration of 
law in this country when we have the plain fact before us that 
counsel defending wretched peasants charged with this brutal 
murder were forced to proceed with a farcial trial without ever 
having been supplied with copies of these depositions or that of 
Thomas Casey, the other approver ? Could there be anything more 
essential in securing a fair trial ; anything more adequate to the 
vindication of truth and justice, than that those men should be 
cross-examined upon the statements which they had made ? Yet 
I find that counsel applied for an adjournment of the case, ground- 
ing his application upon the fact that he had not got copies of 
these depositions, and the application was refused. No rational 



18 . 

man who compares Philbin's depositions with the evidence he gave 
in the witness chair, and the evidence of the other witnesses, can 
have any doubt on his mind that Philbin falsely swore himself a 
murderer to save his wretched life. Let me give an instance. 
Describing what was alleged to have taken place at Michael 
Casey's house, he says several times that he passed " below the 
house," clearly showing that he was under the impression Casey's 
house was to the right of the boreen when it is actually situated 
on the lower or left side. The three Joyces say they saw the six 
men go into this house, and that they (the Joyces) waited for 
them to the rere of the house at a spot which the civil engineer 
proved was seven yards from the house, But here is Philbin's 
testimony ; — 

" When we went to Michael Casey's house they went in and I went 
reund behind the house. . . It was not many yards from the house — not 
more than ten." 

Thus we have this man placing himself in the very identical 
spot that the three Joyces say they occupied in wait for him and 
the five others whom they allege they saw enter the house. It 
really seems providential that of all the places which he could 
select from in his perjured testimony he should put himself into 
that one alone which would make his evidence and that of the 
Joyces incompatible. Again, coming to the events which occurred 
at the house of the murdered family, the Joyces deposed that they 
stood in front of the door at a bush, which I have ascertained to 
be 50 feet from the door ; and that after hearing the first shot 
they ran away. 

Here is Philbin's evidence as to that point of the case :— 

"I stood out in front of the door. There were two or three men 
between me and the men who broke in the door. 

" Where were you standing when they broke in the door ? About three 
or four yards behind them, and I then moved out • foment ' the door. 

" Did you remain below the house ? When the men broke into the 
house I broke and advanced away. 

" Had the men gone into the house before you went away ? They had. 
When I heard the screams and shot I went away the nearest way. I got 
frightened. 

"What do you call the nearest way? Any way that it was my 
advantage to go. 

•' Did you go back the way you came ? I went the best way. 

u Was that the way you came ? I went through other fields to take the 
nearest way. 

" When going home did you meet anybody ? No sir, nor did I hear any 
footsteps." 

Here, too, it will be seen, he places himself in direct conflict 
with the testimony of the Joyces. They ran when they heard the 
first shot. So did he. Yet they never saw him. He, the 
innocent and unsuspecting murderer, never saw them, nor did he 
hear amy footsteps, even though the nearest way, which he alleges 
he took, must necessarily bring him through the identical spot 



19 

where they allege they were, and though, according to their 
evidence, they must have started off to run at that same moment. 
In the deposition which this man made when closeted with Mr. 
George Bolton on the 9th November, and for the first time brought 
to light in the Under-Secretary's memorandum, the following 
passage occurs : — 

11 When we (Thomas Casey and himself) crossed the river some distance 
at Cappanacreha we saw three men coming down the field. After some 
time these men came on to the road where we were. They are Myles 
Joyce, Patrick Joyce, and Patrick's son Tom ; but I did not know him at 
the time. We walked on towards Casey's. When we were near Casey's 
house Martin Joyce came to us." 

Now this was evidently an inconvenient way to lay the plot. 
Meeting Martin Joyce when coming near Michael Casey's house 
would only bring five men past the house of Anthony Joyce, and 
virtuous Anthony had sworn to six. Accordingly we have it on 
the testimony of Sir R. G. C. Hamilton, Under Secretary, that 
Mr. George Bolton is at the jail again next morning, and Mr. 
Philbin and himself sit down to another deposition, the correspond- 
ing passage of which is made to run thus : — 

" After we croseed the river at Cappanacreha we saw three men coming- 
down towards us. They joined us after some time. They were Myles 
Joyce, Patrick- Joyce, of Cappanacreha, and his son Tom. We walked on 
some distance towards Derry, and after some distance Martin Joyce came 
down through the fields, and we all went together to the house of one of the 
Casey s of Derry." 

The alteration is slight, but the improvement is great, and few 
can fail to appreciate the nice distinction between the phrases 
" when getting near Casey's house," and " after some distance." 
One is definite and dangerous in cross-examination. The other is 
beautifully indefinite. As to cross-examination, however, " assur- 
ance was made doubly sure ° by giving neither of these depositions 
into the hands of the defending^counsel. 

Yet still another slight improvement was called for. In the 
deposition made on the 9th, Philbin says : — 

"There were others about Casey's house joined us, and we went down 
under Casey's house. I asked Martin Joyce where they were going." 

He must evidently have a bad memory, for six times or more 
the Joyces had sworn that they went in to the house. But the 
point is made all right when Mr. Bolton visits him next day, and 
in the deposition dated the 10th, the passage runs thus : — 

" We all went together to the house of one of the Caseys of Derry. 
They all went in except myself. I remained outside. They only stopped a 
sliort time in when they came out." 

What a skilful retouching ! There is evidently the hand of 
an accomplished artist here. The Joyces are corroborated in the 
main. But why not in the full ] Why not Anthony say he had 
gone in himself too 1 Silly question. Jf Anthony had said that, 
how did he know that there was not an element of truth in the 



20 

story of the three Joyces, and that some one or more out of those 
who may have been in that house should not come forward and 
declare him a liar and perjurer by showing that he was not in the 
house at all 1 No ; he wisely left himself outside in his story, for 
no one but the accused could contradict him so far, and their 
mouths were sealed. 

The difficulties which Casey encountered when on the first day 
of the trial he came to assist the Crown must have been very 
great. The Joyces had told a story so manifestly false that, 
though he was willing to give evidence, and " save his neck," 
it was not easy for a man who knew the truth to corroborate 
a story so absurdly false as to every essential circumstance. 
They had not described the route, for the murderers when 
together scarcely came within two miles of Michael Casey's house ; 
they had set down ten as being present when only seven were 
actually there ; they swore against six who were innocent and 
onlv four out of the guilty ; they deposed to recognising them 
as they passed them on a dark night, when in reality the men 
had blackened faces ; and, in addition to all, Philbin in his in- 
formation had further complicated matters by his absurd ignorance 
of the locality and the position of houses in the few additional 
particulars he had to supply. To keep from mixing in the bitter 
and unnecessary truths with the falsehood which alone was re- 
quired must have been no easy task to a man who knew all, and 
it will be difficult to account for his success if we reject (as, of 
course, we are bound to do) the explanation he gave me himself — 
viz., that Mr. Brady and Mr. Bolton read Philbin's deposition for 
him, and enlightened him. 

Yet, notwithstanding all, he brought two new names, that 
of Pat Kelly and Michael Nee, into his depositions. Of course, 
this was done on the first morning of the trial, and it was not 
possible to visit him on a second day and have a revise of his de- 
position. He had to mount the witness chair. The Joyces swore 
there were ten men, and only ten, in the murder party. They 
were cross-examined, and said it was not possible that any one 
else could join the party on the way. Philbin swore ditto. He 
M was one of the ten himself, and no one could join without his 
seeing them." But here is part of Thomas Casey's deposition : — 

" We went down the boreen after we left Michael Casey's house. About 
a quarter of a mile from Michael Casey's we were joined by two men, Pat 
Kelly and Michael Nee. We all went to John Joyce's house at Maam- 
trasna." 

And yet, this is corroboration — this is the " clear and unmistak- 
able testimony" we have heard so much of, and by which one in- 
nocent man was strangled on a gallows and four more innocent 
men lie in jail. Upon what possible theory, it may be asked, was 
so contradictory evidence acted upon 1 Surely one or both of 
these men who say they belonged to the murderous party must be 



21 

a perjurer. The Crown, of course, it will be said, rejected Casey's 
testimony as unreliable, and adhered to Philbin, who corroborated 
the Joyces. Not at all. The Crown relied upon both, and the 
introduction of Kelly's and Nee's names, inconsistent as it was with 
the other testimony, was the delightful theme upon which Judge 
and prosecuting counsel descanted in endeavouring to give the 
murder an agrarian or political character. Here is how the Judge 
(Lord Justice Barry) who presided at the trials dealt with the 
difficulty thus raised — 

" Neither Kelly nor Nee was now on trial. They were not arrested. 
It was curious that Philbin said he never saw them at all. The question 
was whether Thomas Casey was telling the exact truth about it. It might 
possibly be suggested that knowing Kelly and Nee were the authors of 
the dreadful act, the persons who issued these mysterious orders, and 
could have these orders obeyed, he wished to bring them into it, although 
they might not have been there at all. Of course, if they thought Thomas 
Casey was not telling the truth, the safest way to deal with his testimony 
would be to reject it altogether. But if they found him corroborated in 
the main facts it would be for the jury to say if it was impossible or im- 
probable that Kelly and Nee Mere the instigators and concoctors of the 
whole thing ; and that they were lurking on the way and joined the 
party." 

Comment upon this is unnecessary. 



CHAPTER V. 



THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE MURDER. 



Revelations of Thomas Casey, the Approver. 

It is now an open secret that the officials of the Crown who had 
to deal with the Maamtrasna trials were sadly perplexed to 
ascribe a motive for the barbarous murder out of which they 
arose. Family quarrels and private feelings of revenge were 
motives that would naturally suggest themselves to sober inquiring 
minds, but these were not to be thought of at a time of deadly con 
flict between the Land League and the Irish Executive, and the 
Government official who would allow a murder of that special 
enormity to pass without availing of it to blacken the character 
of the Land League would be unworthy the confidence of his 
employers. So universally was this feeling appreciated in Irish 
official circles that ordinary social crime seemed during the period 
of the agitation to have completely disappeared. 

The strange story of the Joyces did not help much in giving 
a political or agrarian complexion to the murder, and so official 
fancy bad to be called into play. Maamtrasna is in the county of 
Gal way — so is Cloughbrad, the village where Lord Ardilaun's two 



22 

bailiffs had been previously murdered. Here, certainly, was suffi- 
cient foundation upon which to build a motive. The murdered 
family of the Joyces must have looked on from a hill somewhere 
in Galway county and witnessed the Lough Mask murder com- 
mitted somewhere in the same county. No more intelligible 
motive presented itself to the official mind, and therefore this 
must be the only one. Many miles of distance and intervening 
ranges of hills were obstacles of small account in the official in- 
vestigation, and this was fully accepted at the time as the theory 
of the Maamtrasna massacre. It is scarcely necessary to say that 
fancy never conceived a motive more absurd, and none are more 
ready to discard it now than the officials who once held it as 
gospel. 

On the day succeeding the murder of the Joyce family the 
local police took a step which is of some importance now in con- 
sidering the revelations recently made by Thomas Casey, the 
approver. Recalling to mind the unhappy quarrels about sheep 
between the murdered man and a neighbour of his, they arrested, 
on the morning after the murder this neighbour. But as a police- 
man in the district expressed it to me, they were forced to release 
him when the story of the three Joyces was accepted. This fact 
is no secret in the district. Everyone there knows it, and every- 
one, police and people, know that this is the person Thomas 
Casey, the approver, has referred to in his recent revelations as 
having planned and paid for the murder. I am fully alive to the 
responsibility I incur in dealing with this branch of my investi- 
gation in the same unreserved manner that I have dealt with it 
hitherto. 

But having fully satisfied my own mind as to the justice and 
policy of my course, 1 shall hold nothing in reserve, and will give, 
in the accompanying interview, the names and facts as I got 
them. 

My interview with the approver, Thomas Casey, partook more 
of the character of a cross-examination than the ordinary " news- 
paper man's " interview. Those who read it will find, I think, 
that I have asked him the questions they would have asked in 
order to arrive at a clear understanding of this extraordinary case. 

Only very few words of explanation are necessary. In the 
first place, even beyond the evidence of this approver Casey, I 
have got proof that a sort of " Ribbon Society" existed in this dis- 
trict. The murdered man seems to have belonged to it, and so 
did the seven, or at least six of the seven, who carried out the 
murder. This society was under the control of Pat Joyce, one of 
the men who has been executed, and it would seem that he was a 
man of very bad character always, who was ready to use this 
society in the interests of any one who paid him. 



23 

This fact, as well as many points of difficulty that have pre- 
sented themselves to persons who took an interest in this case, 
will be explained in the following 

Interview with Thomas Casey. 

Having procured from this approver explanations of portions 
of the case at different intervals, and found many of them verified 
by my inquiries, I had a long interview with him, in which he 
made the following statement :— 

On the night of the murder I joined the party at the house of 
big John Casey, of Bun-na-cnic. 

Is that the man by whom you say the murder was planned 1 
Yes. 

Was any one with you going to the house 1 No. I went by 
myself across the hill from Glensaul to Bun-na-cnic. I never 
touched on Cappanacreha or Deny at all. When I reached big 
John Casey's house at Bun-na-cnic, his son, John Casey, jun., met 
me outside, and gave me a white bawneen to put over my head 
going in, to make sure that no one would see me passing through 
the kitchen. 

Were there anv people in the kitchen 1 The light was out 
there, and I cannot say whether any persons were sleeping there. 
This young John Casey met every man outside as they came, and 
he gave them a bag or bawneen passing through the kitchen into 
the room. 

Were there any persons there before you ? Yes, the two John 
Caseys, father and son, and Pat Ley den. The men that came in 
after me were Pat Casey, Michael Casey, and Pat Joyce, of Shan* 
vallycahill. They were brought in separately, and had their heads 
covered. 

Were there any more in the party that night ? No. 

Did the seven of you remain in the house for any time ? Yes, 
they took a good deal of drink. I was the only one who did not 
take any drink. 

Was that the night you planned the murder 1 No, we had 
planned it before, and met to go and commit it. This was about 
three weeks or four weeks before. We met then, too, at big 
John Casey's house (Bun-na-cnic), but as he was not there we re- 
fused to go. We believed he remained away so that he would be 
out of it himself, and then we would not go as he would not take 
part in it. 

Who gave you word afterwards that the murder was to be 
committed] Pat Casey, the man that was since hanged. He 
came to Glensaul to my place at four o'clock on the evening of 
the murder, and told me that they were to meet again that night. 

Did anyone see him % Yes, my wife saw him, and was speak- 
ing to him. 

Did he wait for you % No ; he went back by himself. 

B 



24 

Did you know what purpose you were called for 1 I did. I 
knew it was to carry out the murder we had planned. 

What is the name of the man that you stated some time since 
was pulled out of bed and asked to go with you 1 John Joyce. 
He is a nephew of big John Casey's, sir, but still I don't think 
he'll deny it. 

Does he also live at Bun-na-cnic 1 He does ; he lives very 
near John Casey's house. 

Did he know you 1 He did, very well ; and he knows Pat 
Joyce would shoot him only for me, when he said he had a pain 
and could not go with us. 

Kelly and Nee. 

Y ou have never properly explained why two of those men got 
false names. Had you no false name given you 1 No, sir. Three 
men got false names — the three men that were appointed to go 
into the house — Pat Joyce, young John Casey, and Pat Leyden. 
They wanted false names, so that they might call one another in- 
side if they wanted help from one another. 

Did any others get names except those three 1 No. It was 
Pat Joyce that proposed that they should have names, and he then 
gave himself some strange name, that I can't remember. Leyden 
was Kelly, and John Casey, jun., was Nee. 

Was not Pat Casey in the house 1 He was, but I don't think 
he was appointed to go in at all, though he went in. 

Did you draw lots as to the men that should go in to commit 
the murder 1 No, sir. John Casey pointed out the men who 
were to go in. 

Is this the father ? Yes. 

Horrible Revelations. 

Were you not the greatest stranger in the party ; did you not 
live farthest away, and why were you not asked to go into the 
house % Well, John Casey asked me, too, but I would not go. 

But as you were the greatest stranger, why did they not press 
you, or why did you not go yourself? Sure, they were all 
strangers, sir. 

How could they all be strangers ; did not some of them live 
close to the house of the murder ? They were all strangers, for 
they had blackened faces. I had no disguise only a soft hat tied 
down over my face, for I had a longer distance to go home than 
any of the others. But they were all blackened. It was young 
John Casey blackened them with polish (blacking) in his father's 
house. Some of them had bavmeens (white jackets) on them going 
to the house of the murder. Pat Joyce had his hat tied down 
over both his cheeks to cover his beard, and his face was black 
also. I had a stick in my hand. Two or three of the others had 
revolvers. 



25 

By what road did you go from John Casey's to the house 
of the murder? We came down the path from Bun-na-cnic, 
crossed the road near the new school, and along the path to 
Maamtrasna. 

What position did you take at the house of the murder? I 
stood outside at the gable of the barn, and Michael Casey stood 
there with me. Five men went into the house, and big John 
Casey held the light while the other four were killing them. 

What light did he hold 1 He had a lamp which he carried from 
his own house. 

Did you think they were going to murder the whole family 1 
Well, I knew then that they were, for Pat Casey and I asked that 
nothing would be done to the women or children, and John Casey 
said that it would not be safe to spare them if they were only the 
size of " a top-coat button." 

This man is still living at Bun-na-cnic ? He is, and his 
son also. 

He has the name of having a good deal of money 1 He has ; 
he is well off, and he lends money to some of the neighbours. 

The whole seven of you who were present at the murder 
were Caseys except two men ? Yes, all except Pat Joyce, of £han- 
vallycahill, and Pat Leyden. 

None of the Joyces of Cappanacreha knew anything about the 
murder 1 No, sir, not one of them knew anything about it. 

They were not at your first meeting ? No, they never knew 
anything of the business. 

The Motive. 

You have said that when you all met at John Casey's house, 
Bun-na-cnic, the first night you refused to go to commit the mur- 
der because he was not there 1 Yes, sir. 

Now, did you at that time appoint the night for your second 
meeting ? No. 

Was there no understanding as to meeting again for the pur- 
pose ? It was understood that they would meet again when John 
Casey was ready to take part in it himself. 

Then how did the men know they were to gather on this night 1 
It appears, sir, that they were working together that day (the day 
before the murder) at Cappanacreha with some other people, and 
they gave word among themselves that they would go that night. 

Where were they working % I can't say it of my own know- 
ledge, but Pat Casey told me when he came for me that they were 
together that day making a barn for young John Casey, of Cap- 
panacreha. 

He is one of the men in jail at present ? Yes. 

He was not at any of your meetings and knew nothing of the 
murder 1 No, sir. Some one proposed at one time to ask him 
to be one of the party, and Pat Casey said that it was better have 



26 

nothing to do with him, that lie had a bad cough since he had the 
measles when he was a young lad, and would be easily known. 

Were any of the two Caseys from Bun-na-cnic at the making 
of the barn — either the father or son ? I can't say for certain, but 
I am sure some one of them must be there or the word would 
not be given. 

You have already stated that you had received money from 
John Casey at Bun-na-cnic before these meetings 1 Yes. 

Now, when you all met and arranged this murder, was there 
no other charge made against Joyce, the murdered man, except 
stealing sheep T Yes, there was. Himself and Casey had quarrels 
about sheep, and were at law with one another. But John Casey 
said that John Joyce made three attempts to shoot him, and 
that he could not live in the country with him. 

Was there not some Ribbon Society among you 1 Yes (hesi- 
tatingly). 

Is it true that John Joyce, the murdered man, belonged to 
it % He did ; they said he was their treasurer, but I did not know 
much about it, as I was only three months home from Eng- 
land. 

Who was the head of the society *? Pat Joyce, of Shanvallycahill. 
How did you come into it when you were only a short time at 
ome ? Pat Joyce knew me in England 1 

Had this society any connection with any other society in 
Ireland ? No. I knew nothing of any society in Ireland, but 
ve used meet one another in England. 

When big John Casey said that this man, John Joyce, at- 
empted his life, why did you not advise him to give information 
to the police, and have him arrested ? We did, too, but the son 
said that this Joyce threatened to give information against 
them, and he would hand over their names to the police for 
being in the society. 

Was there anything said about his not accounting for some 
money he had ? Pat Joyce said so. 

This Pat Joyce, I believe, was what you call " a bad boy" 
here ? Well, indeed, he was not very good. 

Was every one of you who had a part in the murder, or was 
present at it, related to John Casey P Yes, it was said they 
should all be friends. 

How Anthony Joyce Framed his Story. 

Can you tell me whether Anthony Joyce belonged to the 
society % I never heard that he did. 

Must he not have heard something about your first meeting % 
Perhaps he did, but very little he knew. 

How do you account for his hitting upon some of the right 
men? He put in the names of all these men because they were 
always quarrelling with him and his brother. 



27 

But you had no quarrel with him ; how did he come to make 
the charge against you 1 Oh, I'll explain that. I asked him in 
Irish before the magistrates, at Cong, the first day — "Why do 
you swear all this against me, Anthony Joyce. I never did any- 
thing to you 1" He said — u Let you hold your tongue, Tom Casey. 
You have no need to talk, for I saw Pat Casey going over for you 
in the evening. He went over across the Slieve barefooted." 

I suppose he knew that Philbin and you were related 1 He 
did ; he knew well that Philbin was my brother-in-law, and I 
suppose that is why he mentioned his name. 

Was Philbin in the society ] He never was, sir, and never 
knew no more about the murder than the child unborn. 

Are you aware that Pat Leyden is a nephew of Anthony 
Joyce's 1 I think he is, but I am not sure. 

Where is Pat Leyden now ? He went to England some 
weeks ago. 

Now, I have heard something about a murder having been 
planned for the 29th of June, the day of the Toomakeady fair ; 
did you hear anything of it ? No. 

You remember Toomakeady fair before the murder 1 I do. 

Was there any plan for that night to murder this man, John 
Joyce 1 No ; but I heard that there was a plan made to beat 
Anthony Joyce at the fair on account of some difference with 
Martin Joyce, one of the innocent men now in jail. This was 
about six weeks before the murder. 

Now there is one portion of the evidence at the trial which 
influenced the judge very much. Constable Bryan swore that on 
the way to Clonbur Pat Joyce asked him was Anthony Philbin 
taken yet, and if he was arrested was it to Ballinrobe he would 
be brought. This was before the constable himself knew that 
Philbin was arrested. If Philbin was innocent of the murder, how 
could Joyce ask that question 1 I can explain that, sir. Philbin 
was arrested in the middle of the night. He is my brother-in- 
law ; and in the morning at daybreak, Mrs. Quin, his mother-in- 
law, came to mv house telling me that Philbin was arrested, and 
asking me to go into town and do something for him, or go bail 
for him. She was in my house when the police came in and ar- 
rested myself. Pat Joyce and I were conveyed together to Finny, 
and I told him this on the way. I told him that they must not 
have much information when they arrested Anthony Philbin. 
Well, you see this Joyce was a smart talkative fellow, and he 
thought it would be a good thing to put them astray by asking a 
question about Philbin, as he knew nothing about it. 

Then it is not true, as the policeman swore, that you and 
Pat Joyce were not allowed to speak 1 It is not true. He .knew 
very well that we talked, and he could not prevent us. He 



28 

separated us for a while on account of our being talking, but he 
let us together again at Finny, and afterwards at Glonbur. 

At what part of the journey did you tell this to Pat Joyce ? 
It was going down towards the new school at Derry. 

Will Mrs. Quin remember this if I ask her about it ? I am 
sure she will, sir, and she will tell the truth about it too. If you 
examine my story you will find every bit of it true. I have no 
interest now only to tell the truth. 

You got some money from this man John Casey, of Bun-na- 
cnic ? I got £3 from his son before the murder, and £4 since 
I came out of jail. My wife also got £6 from them while I was 
in jail. He gave it for my defence. 

Did he give any money for the defence of the other men ? 
He gave money to defend all those who had any hand in the 
murder, but he gave nothing to the families of the people that 
were innocent. 

How Informers aee Made. 

Now I want from you, as clearly as you can, the full story of 
your interviews with Mr. Bolton. Did anything happen with 
regard to your informations before you wrote the note to Mr. 
Bolton on the 11th November ? Yes. Several days before that 
— I think it was on the 6th — Philbin and I were put together 
into a yard. There was no warder with us. He had written to 
Mr. Bolton at this time, and Mr. Bolton was after being with 
him that day. If I remember rightly, that is what Philbin 
told me. 

Who put you into the yard together ? It was the chief war- 
der. I do not know his name. He was a stout young man with 
a fair moustache. I think he is now in Mullingar, for he was 
removed before I left Kilmainham. 

Could you remember whether he was called Mr. Coulter 1 No. 
I don't think I ever heard him called by his name at all ; but I 
would know him well if I saw him. 

Was it he took you from your cell on this day 1 No. I was 
taken out of my cell by another warder, and when I came out I 
saw Philbin out of his cell too. We were brought by this warder 
to the end of the row of cells. The chief warder was there, and 
then be took us down and opened the door of the yard for us him- 
self, and locked us out there. 

Do you remember the warder that took you to the chief 
warder? I think his name is Moore. The chief warder said, 
when he was putting us into the yard — " Go in there and have a 
talk together." I was surprised, and asked Philbin why were we 
allowed there together. He said it was that we might give 
evidence. We were more than an hour in the yard together. No 
one came near us all that time. Philbin was trying to get me 



29 

make a statement, lie was all the time saying that I knew all 
about the murder and I denied it. 

How did he know that you were anything more guilty than 
himself 1 He must have suspected it from seeing me whispering 
with the other men when we got together, or were going in or out 
in the van. 

Had you been in a van before this ? Yes, and we were re- 
manded. Pbilbin told me that he was speaking to Mr. Bolton, 1 
think he said that day, and that it was better for me to make a 
statement and save myself. One of the warders told me the next 
day that Philbin had turned. No friends were coming near me, 
and I was getting afraid. On Friday or Saturday after this I 
wrote the note to Mr. Bolton asking him to come to see me. I 
was brought out to the office to see him that day. 

Is this to the Governor's office 1 It was upstairs over the 
Governor's office I was brought. The warder that brought me to 
this office was a tall man with black whiskers. I don't know his 
name. He was a sort of a carpenter, I think, for I used see him 
doing jobs in the jail. There was no clerk in the room, and the 
Governor or any other person was not there except Mr. Bolton. 
The warder came as far as the door with me and then stood at 
the door while I was in. Mr. Bolton was sitting down with his 
shoes off, warming his feet to the fire. He said, " Well, Casey, 
are you going to make a statement," or something like that. I 
made an effort to save those that were in. I said " The men that 
did the murder are outside yet, and these men in here are 
innocent." He said he had more than that from the Joyces and 
from my brother-in-law, Philbin, that Philbin swore I went 
to the house for him and that he met me in the field. I am not 
sure whether it is then Mr. Bolton read Philbin's statement for 
me, but I am quite certain that he read it for me. He would not 
accept my statement, as I would not make it agree with my 
brother-in-law, and he called the warder and sent me away. 

Making Depositions. 

The trial was to come off on Monday. I saw the Governor 
on Sunday evening, about four o'clock, and I was talking to him. 
I told him about my meeting with Mr. Bolton. 

Had you made up your mind this time to corroborate Philbin ? 
I was making up my mind for it, but I was putting it off to the last 
moment. The Governor said to me if I wished he would speak 
to Mr. Bolton. I did not then give a decided answer. 

The next day was the day of the trial. When we were going 
into the van I saw Philbin going away in a cab. The other men 
went into the van. I was the last to go in, and I then said to 
the Governor that he might speak to Bolton. I had not given 
him an answer the night before. We were then brought to the 
court. The nine of us were in the room back of the dock, and 



80 

my name was called. I don't remember the warder, but I think 
it was Moore, the same man that brought us to the chief warder. 
I was brought a few yards to the right, to a little room where Mr. 
Brady, Mr. Bolton, and the Governor of the jail were, Mr. Bolton 
was the first who spoke. He said, " Now, Casey, are you going 
to make a statement V* He pulled out his watch, and said I had 
only a short time. I said, ".I'd like to give evidence fair.'' He 
replied that I " had only twenty minutes to consider my neck." 
Mr. Bolton asked, ff Who are the three men that went into the 
house V I did not answer fast enough. I did not know who to 
gay. Mr. Brady then said, low, across the room to Bolton, " I 
know them — Pat Joyce, Pat Casey, and Myles Joyce." Then I 
knew what names I should say. 

Did you consent to give evidence before this question was 
asked? I had consented, but I did not know what to say. We 
were then brought out to another room. Mr. Bolton took the 
pen in his hand, but when I had made a small part of my state- 
ment he went away, and Mr. Brady then took my deposition. 

After I had a little of it made, he read part of Philbin's depo- 
sitions for me. 

" Question— -Can you tell me which of the two depositions 
he read for you ? " (Here I read Philbin's depositions of 9th and 
of 10th November, as given in the memorandum of Sir R. G. 
Hamilton). 

" Answer — It was the one of the 10th, for Durkan's name is 
mentioned in that, and not in the other. When Mr. Brady read 
what Philbin puts down about Durkan, I said * That is a lie.' " 

Why did you say this ? Was not all Philbin's evidence a lie ? 
It was, but I did not want to implicate anyone else who was not 
in jail. You will find this is true ; and when Philbin was exa- 
mined in court afterwards, they never asked him a word about 
that part of his deposition where he brings in Durkan's name, for 
they were afraid I would contradict it. 

" You have pointed out to me that the depositions were read 
for you as far as that part where Myles Joyce, Pat Joyce, and 
Thomas Joyce are brought into it ? If Mr. Brady stopped there 
how did you know how to put in Martin Joyce ? I first did not 
know how to do it either, but Mr. Brady said — " Did not Martin 
Joyce come down out of the field to you ? " And I said yes. 

Why did you bring the names of Kelly and Nee into this depo- 
sition if you wanted to have it like Philbin's 1 I'll tell you, sir. 
When I was first speaking to Mr. Bolton, as I told you before, I 
said to him the people that committed this murder and planned it 
are out yet, and I put in those two names in my deposition to 
make that statement all right. He was more anxious for that 
than any other part of my statement. When I signed the deposi- 
tion Bolton, I think, came for it and took it away to the court, 



31 

While he was away I was standing with a warder in the passage. 
When he came back, Mr. Bolton took me into a room by himself. 
It was an office. He asked me a lot of questions then about Kelly 
and Nee, and I gave him wrong descriptions of them. He asked 
me aboutj England and was I in any society there. Philbin had 
told him privately that I was in a society there. 

Out of the ten men sworn against by Anthony Joyce and his 
brother, only four, you say, had any knowledge of the murder 1 
Only four, Pat Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, who was executed ; Pat 
Casey, who was also executed ; Michael Casey, who is now in 
penal servitude, and myself. 

Now, I want you to name the men accused who were innocent % 
Myles Joyce, the man who was executed ; his two brothers^ Pat 
and Martin, who are in penal servitude ; Tom Joyce, Pat's son, 
who is in penal servitude ; and little John Casey, of Cappanacreha, 
who is also in penal servitude. 

That is the man who had a eough for years 1 Yes. 

Of the seven men who did know of the murder, and 
took part in it, three are still at large besides yourself ] Yes. One 
is in England, and the other two are here in the country. 

Then there are four innocent men in jail and one guilty) Yes, sir. 

And of the three who were hanged one man was hanged in 
the wrong 1 Yes sir. Myles Joyce knew no more of that murder 
than you did, but sure you may say they were all hanged in the 
wrong, for the evidence against the guilty as well as the innocent 
was all a lie. 

Here closes my interview with the approver Thomas Casey. 
His shrewd intelligence and the keen desire which he evinced to 
elucidate every point of difficulty that I drew attention to in the 
report of the trials, struck me very much, and by none was I 
more strongly impressed than by the remarkable observation with 
which this interview closes. I should also mention that in 
addition to the facts set forth in the foregoing interview, Casey 
revealed to me the place where at present are concealed the 
revolvers which were used at the murder. Of the circumstance 
connected with their concealment as imparted by him I received 
such information subsequently as to leave no doubt upon my mind. 
But I refrain from giving publicity to the place or the circum- 
stances until the Government have granted such an inquiry into 
.Casey's revelations as will satisfy the public demand for justice. 

There is scarcely a single important fact given in the above 
statement — minute and detailed as it is — which I do not find 
corroborated by subsequent inquiry, excepting, of course, the 
account of the jail interviews, and the conflict of testimony here, 
it is needless to say, will have to be judged by the public largely 
upon the merits of the respective characters of Mr. George Bolton, 
Crowu Prosecutor, and Mr. Thomas Casey, approver, 



32 



CHAPTEE VI. 



Casey's Revelations Corroborated. 

Few persons, I think, who followed my criticisms on the evidence 
offered for the Crown at the Maamtrasna trials, will deny that 
if they did not prepare the way for revelations such as those 
made by Thomas Casey, they, at least, discredited the singular 
story of the three Joyces. Grave, therefore, as must be the 
suspicion that attaches to a statement made by a man in Casey's 
position, we are the more bound to give it careful consideration 
from the fact that the only other explanation of the mystery 
offered to us has been shown to be unworthy of belief. Casey's 
confession and the evidence offered at the trial by these so-called 
" independent witnesses " are wholly incompatible. To believe 
one or a part of one, you must wholly reject the other. It is not 
a question of compromise, or of errors, or mistaken identity. In 
short, if Casey's recent revelations are to be credited, and I have 
little doubt that they will, we must regard the story told by the 
three Joyces as a pure fabrication, false in conception and false 
in every detail. 

I am by no means disposed to over-rate the credibility of a 
man in Casey's position, and in claiming attention to the 
evidence I have collected in corroboration of his statement I 
shall not ask my readers to dismiss from their minds one feature 
of the odium and infamy that attach to a character like his. But 
he cannot be worse now than when the Crown availed of his 
testimony at the trial, and it will be sufficient for my purpose if 
readers will extend to him precisely the same measure of credi- 
bility the jury was asked to extend to him when as a self- 
confessed murderer and informer, he sat in the witness chair to 
swear away the life of his fellow man. It is a mild description 
of the learned judge's charge to say that he instructed the jury 
to accept the approver's evidence if they found it corroborated in 
the main. I shall ask no more ; and if the corroboration I pro- 
duce in support of Casey when he deposes to the innocence of a 
dead man be stronger than the corroboration that satisfied judge 
and jury when consigning living men to a murderer's death, the 
public, I have no doubt, will find their verdict accordingly. 

First, let us take a brief general view of Casey's confession 
and contrast it with the theory upon which the Crown proceeded 
at the trials. 

Probability of Casey's Revelations. 

Even upon the ground of probability alone there is much to 
be said in favour of Casey's story as compared with that ad- 
va need at the trial. Does it not seem more probable that only 



38 

seven men would be employed in a crime of that character than 
that ten would be asked where three of them at least would be 
unnecessary ? Is it not more probable, too, as Casey alleges, 
that the murderous gang was confined to one family than that 
they should ask the assistance of men such as Myles Joyce and 
his two brothers, who were first cousins of the intended victim ? 

The original evidence supplied no motive ; Casey's story 
does. The manner of assembling, the route, the disguises, the 
blackened faces, the lamp carried to give light for the fell work — 
all combine to form a story much more probable, and certainly 
more circumstantial, than that related by the Joyces. Crown 
officials impugn the motives that underlie Casey's present action. 
It is said he is animated by a desire to get back into favour with 
the people of his locality. I certainly saw nothing to warrant 
this assumption, and his wish to leave the country goes far to 
discredit the allegation. But even if it were true, how much 
does it establish for the Crown ? If we must agree with the 
Crown that Casey's character is so bad that he now gives false 
evidence to win the esteem of his neighbours, can we refuse to 
believe Casey himself when he assures us that at the trial he 
gave false evidence " to save his neck," which, beyond all doubt, 
was in imminent danger ? If it be true that he is anxious to 
get the esteem of his neighbours, how do the Crown officials ac- 
count for the fact that Casey should still confess himself guilty 
of the murder ? Would it not be as easy for him to state now 
that he was never present at the murder as to confess himself 
still guilty of the foul deed, and exculpate Philbin, between 
whom and himself there is certainly little love ? 

But all these are generalities, and at most only go to establish 
a presumption. I shall pass from them to the more 
Direct Evidence of Corroboration. 

Casey's contention, briefly stated, is that Myles Joyce (who 
was executed) was innocent of all participation in, or knowledge 
of, the murder, and that four out of the five men in penal servi- 
tude are equally innocent. Standing on the scaffold, his eyes 
closed to earth for ever, and as the gifted editor of United Ireland 
beautifully expressed it, " with the rustle of the Unseen falling 
mysteriously on his ears," Myles Joyce himself attested the 
truth of what Casey now confesses. Is a solemn declaration 
made at a moment so awful to be completely disregarded in 
taking Casey's story into consideration ? Patrick Joyce, when 
earthly hope for him was passed, and he sought to make his 
peace with God, declared also under the sacred sanction of 
religion and in presence of the civil magistrate the truth of the 
statement Thomas Casey now makes. Pat Casey, under cir- 
cumstances precisely similar, added his dying testimony in 
support of it. The solemn dying depositions then of three men 



84 

corroborate the revelation of Casey. But he is also corroborated 
by Philbin, his brother approver. Here, then, at once, we have 
a case precisely parallel to that upon which the Crown moved 
at the trial. The two approvers agree now even more minutely 
than they did then in their false statement, a ndthey are corro- 
borated in their present testimony by " three independent 
witnesses," independent in the highest sense of the term, for 
when they gave their evidence they were beyond the influence of 
earthly hope or earthly fear. 

Already I have drawn attention to the protestations made by 
the imprisoned men since they went into penal servitude, and I 
gave specimens of the letters in which they have always 
declared, in solemn language, their entire innocence of the murder. 
This fact in itself would be some slight evidence in corroboration 
of Casey, but in what a strong light does it not come out in sup- 
port of him, when we find that though there are five of those 
men in penal servitude only four have made these repeated pro- 
testations of innocence in their letters, and these the very 
four men whom Thomas Casey declares to be innocent. Here, 
at least, is corroboration. 

But there is something more. The fifth man, Michael Casey, 
I find has not been altogether silent. It struck me as very 
strange, during my inquiries in this district, that Michael Casey's 
friends did not show that desire to produce his letters from prison 
which was so notable a feature in our interviews with the fami- 
lies of the other prisoners. His last letter had been given to his 
brother-in-law, Edward Connor, who lived some distance off, 
and I sent for the letter, but got back the reply that it had 
become torn. Well knowing the care with which letters of this 
character are preserved by the peasantry, my suspicions were 
aroused, and I came back to the district another day to pursue 
inquiry into the contents of that letter ; and I succeeded. 
Michael Casey had "requested his wife to go to the master (the 
landlord) and to get him to memorial the Lord Lieutenant to 
allow him (Michael Casey) make a statement. That he was 
brought into this murder by friends of his own, who are out of jail 
still, and if he was to have no hope for himself, he wanted at all 
events to make a statement J or the sake of the innocent men who 
are in." 

Here, then, is another witnessready to corroborate Tom Casey's 
revelations. The Crown officials can scarcely be ignorant of his 
desire to make a statement declaring the whole truth. Is Earl 
Spencer anxious that the truth should be known ? If so, let 
him have the prisoner, Michael Casey, examined, to ascertain 
whether he, locked up for years in prison, and knowing nothing 
of Thomas Casey's confession, will give precisely the same 
account of the murder. How readily Earl Spencer availed of 



the evidence of Patrick Delaney, tbe murderer of Lord Cavendish, 
and gave him some days outing from the prison, when it is a 
question of obtaining a conviction upon testimony so respect- 
able ? 

The fact that these men now in penal servitude pleaded 
guilty to the murder would, no doubt, be a great difficulty in the 
way of establishing their innocence, if we had not evidence so 
strong — in fact, so overwhelming, as that which I have quoted. 
But it is well, also, to consider for a moment the circumstances 
under which they allowed their counsel enter a plea of guilty. 
Three men had been found guilty, the evidence against each 
being precisely the same as that upon which the remaining men 
were to be tried. The verdict of the jury may be said to have 
been three times pronounced upon those men, and then they 
were asked to plead guilty upon promise of having their lives 
saved. They refused their counsel so to plead ; they refused 
their own solicitor, and they refused the Crown Solicitor. It 
was only at the solicitation of their clergyman that they were 
finally induced to plead guilty, and what is the argument which 
he employed ? Here it is in the rev. gentl man's own words as 
he writes it to me : — 

f* The case was then laid before me, and in the interests of the prisoners 
I considered it the wiser course to plead guilty. I was by no means clear 
at the time that they were innocent. I was certainly inclined to the belief 
that they were, but I had no grounds for such a belief, but their own decla- 
rations to me. I argued with myself thus — If the men were guilty their 
plea of guilt can do them no harm, and will save their lives ; and that if 
they were innocent I felt that the truth would leak out, as from my know- 
ledge of the locality and the people I believed such a huge wrong could not 
continue. In this way I saw a probability of these men coming back to 
their wives and families and homes without a stain on their character. This 
was the argument I made use of to the men themselves in the cell of Green- 
street Courthouse ; and I dare say it was the argument which induced them 
to withdraw their plea of ' not guilty,' and enter a plea of ' guilty.' From 
this you will see that in recommending the prisoners to adopt this course I 
was by no means actuated by a belief in their guilt. On the contrary I 
rather believed they were innocent." 

Have we not here a very clear and a very remarkable ex- 
planation of the course which those poor wretched men felt 
compelled to adopt ? It is all very well for persons of noble 
sentiment and high mental culture to exclaim that they would 
face a murderer's death rather than plead guilty of a murder 
they never committed. But these men were ignorant, poverty- 
stricken, wretched peasants, to whom the choice between imme- 
diate, ignominious death and confinement with the hope of 
release and vindication made all the difference in the world. 
The course they were induced to adopt was admittedly one of 
doubtful policy, but I have little fear that under the direction 
of Providence it will turn out to have been the wiser course. 



36 

In connection with the mention of the reverend gentleman 
from whom I have quoted above, and who had the spiritual 
charge of this district at the time of the murder, there is another 
strong point corroborating Casey's revelations which I should not 
omit to mention. Again I shall give it in the reverend gentle- 
man's own words :«— 

" Some time after the murder a man came to me and told me that he 
himself was one of the murderous gang "who took part in the terrible 
massacre. ' Myles Joyce,' he said, was as innocent of the murder as the 
child unborn, and so are the greater number of those now undergoing penal 
servitude.' I then asked him, to see if the informers had any ground for 
their story, whether they passed by Cappanacreha and Derry Park, and 
called in at Michael Casey's. ' No,' said he, ' we did not go within a mile of 
that place. The Joyces story is every word of it false.' The object this 
wretched man had in coming to tell me his awful tale was to consult me as 
to what he should do under the circumstances. Though of course getting 
this information in no professional capacity, I shall not mention names, but 
you are free to make whatever use you think proper of anything this letter 
contains. 

Can there exist in the minds of any rational man in face of 
such evidence a shadow of a doubt as to the main fact deposed 
to in Casey's revelations ? With such evidence against a prisoner 
how easy would it not be for the Crown to obtain a verdict and 
a sentence of death ? Should it be regarded as of less importance 
when it goes to establish the innocence of suffering men and to 
vindicate the character of one that has been placed beyond 
recalling ? 

I feel that I well might stop here and trust to the verdict of 
the public, but as I am anxious to make a complete case and to 
deprive Crown officials of all excuse for their conspiracy to 
cloak over the murder of Myles Joyce. I shall give some further 
evidence corroborating Casey's statement in detail. 



CHAPTER VII. 



Further Corroboration. The Crown Brief. 

Discoveries which I have made since I commenced these 
chapters render it quite unnecessary for me to enter into the 
evidence I collected in corroboration of Casey's confession with 
that minuteness which I originally intended. A few leading points 
in his statement are all that it will be necessary for me touch upon, 
and I shall then pass to evidence of a character no less calculated 
to create surprise than to carry conviction. 

A very striking point in Casey's story is the incident he 
relates with regard to four of the murderers calling to the house of 
young John Joyce, of Bun-na-cnic, and taking him out to enlist 
him in their murderous enterprise. This Joyce is a nephew of 
John Casey, the alleged leader of the gang, and resides quite close 



87 

to him. If Thomas Casey's revelations were alia pure fabrication, 
as the Crown would fain have us believe, is it likely he would 
gratuitously introduce an incident of this character, and, above all 
others, that he would fix upon a person by no means likely to offer 
such corroboration as would endanger the life of his uncle ? 

We had an interview with this John Joyce, and questioned him 
as to the incident mentioned by the approver. In words he 
refused to substantiate the approver's statement, but by his manner 
he convinced me and my reverend companion of its truth much 
more strongly than if he had expressed his agreement in words. 
Our queries were met first by evasive answers. " He knew 
nothing," " he would make no statement that would get anyone 
else into jail," &c. ; but my reverend companion would have a 
direct answer. "Did these four men come to you on that night 
of the murder? We must have yes or no from you." At first this, 
too, was evaded. But a few repetitions of it brought the remark- 
able response (in Irish), " don't press me, Father." I need scarcely 
say that we regarded this as a corroboration of Casey much more 
convincing than if it had been directly expressed in words. 

In the same way I found Casey's explanation of the manner in 
which Pat Joyce came to know of Philbin's arrest amply cor- 
roborated. I examined Mrs. Quinn, the woman referred to by 
Casey, and she stated to me that she was in Tom Casey's house 
at the very moment of his arrest, having arrived there some time 
previously to apprise him of the arrest of Anthony Philbin, his 
brother-in-law, which had taken place during the night, and to ask 
him (Casey) to go into town to see what could be done for Philbin, 
as the police told his wife if she had any persons to bail him it 
would be better for her to send them to town. She had come on 
this errand to Tom Casey's house, and was actually there waiting 
for Casey when a party of police belonging to a different station 
came in and arrested Casey and conveyed him to Clonbur, in 
company with Pat Joyce, to whom, on the way, he communicated 
the arrest of Philbin. 

His statement with regard to the meeting of the men at work 
on the day. before the murder was also fully verified by my 
inquiries, and I found that amongst those making the barn (some 
of whom knew nothing of the murder) were Pat Joyce, who has 
been executed ; Pat Casey, also executed ; and John Casey, jun., 
Bun-na-cnic, son of the alleged leader of the gang. 

Another remarkable fact in the approver's confession is his 
allegation that old John Casey, ot Bun-na-cnic, gave money freely 
to defend the guilty among the accused, but gave no assistance for 
the defence of those who knew nothing of his own criminality, It 
took some very minute cross-questioning of members of the 
different families to arrive at evidence as to this fact; but it was 
nevertheless, fully corroborated; and I found that upon one 



88 

occasion the son of this man, in giving money to Peter, brother of 
Pat Casey, who was executed, said that " any money given by him 
or his father for the defence of Pat Casey or Tom Casey (the 
approver) would never be asked back." 

The Blackened Faces; 

One circumstance alone in Casey's confession would have 
formed sufficient ground for inquiry on the part of any Administra- 
tion really desirous to know and make known the truth. I refer 
to his statement that the men who committed the murder were 
disguised and had blackened faces. Such a fact, if clearly 
established, puts an end completely to the evidence at the trial, 
and stamps it as a fraud and a murderous perjury. There is no 
possible theory upon which even the most eager apologist of Crown 
officials can reconcile it with the evidence of the three Joyces ; 
and, if it be true, there is no escape from the conclusion that 
eight men were found guilty of murder upon evidence which was a 
villainous and bloodthirsty fabrication. Yet of its truth I have 
such proof to offer as will remove it beyond the region of doubt, 
and shed a lurid light upon the system of Crown prosecuting in 
Ireland. 

Anyone who glances at my interview with the approver will 
see that it was by a chance question in cross-examination I elicited 
from him this very remarkable and important item of information. 
It came upon me by surprise, and certainly at first raised a doubt 
in my mind as to the exact truth of Casey's declarations. But ther 
manner of its corroboration was no less remarkable. Casey made 
this statement to me on Sunday in the sacristy attached to the 
Toomakeady Church, at which he and his police guard attend Mass. 
The next day I a^airt visited the Maamtrasna glen to satisfy 
myself by inspection as to facts which he had given me in his 
lengthened statement. I met a police constable who was in the 
district at the time of the murder, and who was acquainted with 
the object of my visits to the glen. After some conversation about 
the murder the following dialogue took place between us : — 

" You are aware, I presume, constable, who it is that Casey says 
planned and paid for the murder ?" " Indeed I am, sir. It is no 
secret. I know it for a long time." 

" Do you think this mart had any connection with it ?" " I know 
well he was in it, sir, and so does Sergeant Johnson. He was the 
first man he arrested, but he was forced to let him go after the 
Joyces' evidence was received." 

"Is it not strange that these men went to commit that murder 
without having any disguise ?" a Indeed they were disguised, sir. 
They all had blackened faces, for the little boy that was alive after 
the murder told Sergeant Johnson and the police when they went 
to the house in the morning. He said the people that killed his 
father and mother and beat himself had blackened faces* " 



39 

I need scarcely say that the testimony of the constable was to 
me no less a surprise than the revelation of £asey. Subsequent 
inquiries brought forth abundant proof. Constable Johnson will 
not deny that he had this information from the two boys he 
found living when he visited the scene the morning of the murder. 
Father M'Hugh, the worthy priest who was called in to attend 
those, testifies that one of them made this statement to him, and 
both were then lying in the same bed, and in a weak condition. 
The boy also spoke to Father M'Hugh of the murderers having 
bawneeas or white jackets. John Collins, the first man who found 
the family at six o'clock in the morning, got the same information 
from them. He was examined at all the trials by the Crown. 
How skilfully he must have been handled in examination that this 
piece of evidence (technically illegal) was not blurted out ! Did 
no one instruct him as to the injury it would do the Crown case, 
or had John himself acquired that legal acumen in his mountain 
home which enabled him to gauge its bearing ? If Lord Spencer 
sees no grounds for inquiry, the Irish public at least would desire 
information upon this point. The two boys informed all the vil- 
lagers who spoke to them on the morning after the murder that 
the assassins were disguised, and had blackened faces. Amongst 
those to whom they communicated the fact are Thomas O'Brien, 
John (Mary) Joyce, Michael Joyce, John O'Brien, Nicholas O'Brien, 
Martin Collins, and Peter Leyden. 

But this is what Crown lawyers would call " secondary evi- 
dence." Well, fortunately, we have primary evidence* of the fact, 
too, and such primary evidence as my Lord Spencer cannot hide 
by any refusal of inquiry. Patrick Joyce, the younger of the two 
boys, recovered from his wounds. I visited this young lad at 
Artane Industrial School, where, under the kind care of the Chris- 
tian Brothers, he is being trained and educated, and in clear, 
intelligible language he fully corroborates this portion of Casey's 
confession. But in connection with this branch of the case I have 
revelations to make more startling and more damaging to Irish 
Crown prosecutorship than anything which we have heard from 
the approver, Thomas Casey. 

Suppression of Evidence by the Crown. 
I am free to confess that when I entered upon the examination 
of this extraordinary case, though I was convinced of the perfect 
innocence of the poor man who, standing on the scaffold, declared 
he knew nothing of the murder, I yet was willing to admit that 
Crown officials were deceived by the strange fabrication of .the 
Joyces. It may well alarm every honest man in Ireland, whatever 
may be his religious or political creed, when I assert that from 
official documents in the possession of the Crown, and by the 
handwriting of officials themselves, I shall be able to prove that 
not one, but the whole eight Maamtrasna prisoners were convicted 





40 

of murder upon evidence which the very briefs in the hands of the 
the Crown counsel showed to be false. 

A copy has come into my hands of the brief made out for the 
prosecuting counsel in this case and bearing the name " George 
Bolton, Crown Solicitor'' on the back, as well as the words " Brief 
on behalf of the Crown." No less than four depositions in that 
brief state that the actual assassins had blackened faces ; but 
though other depositions were given to counsel for the prisoners 
they got no copy of these, and not a suggestion or hint w?s 
allowed to be thrown out during the trial as to the disguises and 
the blackened faces. 

John Collins, the first of the villagers who found the murdered 
family in the morning, was examined at the trial, as I pointed out, 
and came off the table without either judge or jury or defending 
counsel suspecting that John Collins knew a fact which made the 
whole evidence of " independent witnesses " and approvers a 
murderous concoction. 

Were the Crown Counsel and Crown Solicitor equally 
ignorant of the fact ? No, for in the briefs which they held in 
their hands was fully set forth John Collins' evidence at the in- 
quest, in which the following passage occurs : — 

" I then returned to the house of the deceased, John Joyce, and we then 
found John Joyce, Margaret Joyce, senr., Margaret Joyce jun., and Bridget 
Joyce, all quite dead. We then saw Pat Joyce and Michael Joyce. They 
were in bed. We spoke to them. We asked them what happened them. 
Michael Joyce then told us that he saw three men in the house. We then 
asked Michael Joyce if he knew the men. He said he did not know them as 
they had their faces dirty. I did not speak to Pat Joyce." 

Constable Johnson was also examined at the trials in Dublin, 
and made depositions at the different magisterial investigations. 
He was allowed to make his depositions and give his evidence 
before the judge without a suggestion being made as to the 
blackened faces, and yet on the second page of the Crown brief is 
given his evidence at the inquest, the day after the murders in 
Maamtrasna, from which I quote the following passage : — 

" I went into the house. I saw John Joyce lying on the floor with his 
head towards the fire— lying on his face — dead. I saw his wife, Bridget, in 
bed in the room, and the two sons, Michael and Pat, badly wounded — both 
able to speak. I asked Michael, through Sub-constable Lerhinan, who 
spoke Irish, what had happened to them last night. Michael Joyce said in 
reply that two or three men came into the room and shot him in bed, and 
that he saw one of the men take up something like a stick and strike his 
sister, and that he heard his grandmother screaming about the break of day. 
He*said he got out of bed aud came down to the kitchen for a drink, and said 
he saw his father lying on the kitchen floor ; after getting the drink he re- 
turned to the bed in the kitchen where his stepmother was lying. She was 
then living. Before the men came into the room he heard shots. I asked 
Michael Joyce how many men did he see, and if he knew them. He said no, 
that their faces were black, and that there were three or four men. I then 
asked Pat Joyce what happened to him last night, but got no reply. I then 

B 



u 

asked. him did he kuofr them, and he said no, that their faces were black. 1 
asked hiin if they had q light, and he said yes, a piece of bog deal. I found a 
bullet, which I produce, on the floor where John Joyce was lying." 

One may ask in surprise whether it is possible in a Christian 
country that an officer of the law, who gave that evidence at the 
inquest on the murdered family, would be employed for weeks 
after in hunting up witnesses, preparing a case, collecting state- 
ments, all going to prove ten men guilty of a murder upon evidence 
which his own sworn testimony attests to be false ? Yet this de- 
position stands in the Crown brief, and only a few pages later on 
came his deposition taken in presence of the prisoners, where all 
this fact is suppressed. It may not have been strictly legal to ask 
a question as to his conversation with the dying boy, but surely the 
fact remained the same, and if the omission of the question can be 
justified in the eye of the law, is there any justification before God 
for hurrying men to a murderer's grave upon testimony known to 
the prosecutors to be false ? 

But the Crown had evidence of a class which they could and 
were bound legally and morally to give with regard to this por- 
tion of the case. It was never mentioned during the trial that 
Michael Joyce, the boy who died — the young man I should say, 
for he was 17 years of age — made, on the day succeeding the 
murder, a dying deposition before Mr. Brady, R.M. The jury 
heard nothing of it; the judge, I presume, knew nothing of it; 
and the counsel for the defence certainly knew nothing of it. 
Yet here in the Crown brief it stands, a record now of the innocence 
of the prisoners and the guilt of the prosecutors. 

" Dying declaration of Michael Joyce, Maamtrasna, taken by A. N. Brady, 
K.M., on 18th August, 1882 :— 
" Two or three men came in. They had black on their faces. I did see 
my father and my brother killed. I am very sick. I cannot raise myself up. 
I was a little while in bed when they came. I was asleep when they came in. 
I heard the dog bark. My own dog. They said something to my father. I 
do not know what. I have no pain at all. I was at Mass yesterday at 
Finney. My name is Michael. John O'Brien told me not to tell, and Michael 
Mallcy. It was last night when they told me not to tell. They swore me on 
a book (Irish idiom for extracting a promise) not to tell. It is John O'Brien 
of the Wood. I am sure of it. 

" (Signed), 

" A. Newton Brady, U.M." 

But this is not all. We have stronger evidence still. I have 
already stated that Pat Joyce, the younger of the two boys, 
survived his injuries. The Crown paraded him on the witness 
chair at the trial, and here is how they jinked the trick, according 
to the Freeman report : — 

" The little boy, Patrick Joyce, who had been beaten on the night of his 
father's murder, was next brought upon the table, but through the interpreter 
he stated he did not know his Catechism, nor was he aware what would 
happen him if he told a lie. Under these circumstances the Crown did not 
examine him." 



42 

Of course not. But this boy had been in the hands of the 
Crown officials' for three months, and surely even George Bolton 
might have told him Hell was intended for the wicked. Can it be 
credited, that while this pretty farce was being played before the 
judge and special jury, the prosecuting counsel had in the brief 
which they held in their hands, a dying declaration made by this 
boy, also on the morning after the murder, stamping as perjury the 
evidence upon which they were proceeding to hang eight persons ? 
Hidden away in the last page of the Crown brief, as if stowed out 
of sight, comes this truly remarkable deposition : — 

" Dying Declaration of Patrick Joyce, Maamtrasna, taken by A. N. Brady, 
K.M.,at Maamtrasna, on 18th August, 1882 : — 

" I did not know any one who came in. I would tell if I knew. Three 
men came in. It was near morning. I was long in bed. I think it was 
about one o'clock. I did not hear any shots. I was struck on the head. I 
don't know who struck me. They were ' married men ' (grown-up men). 
They had soot on their faces. They had whiskers. They had bog deal lights. 
They had a ' kippeen ' each. They lit them inside in the house. I was asleep 
in the inside room when they came in. I got three strokes. They did not 
speak a word to me or to any one in the house. I think they had no coats 
but ' bawneens! They had three old hats. I believe I am dying. I might 
know them again. 

« (Signed), 

" A. Newton Beady, R.M." 

This declaration was taken the day after the murder, and with 
a view to being used at the trial of any who might be accused of 
the murder. Lawyers will appreciate the legal force of the words 
" I believe I am dying," introduced into it. Mr. Brady, R.M., 
did not think this boy too ignorant to make a dying declaration, 
but three months later he is found to have gone so far back in 
Christian knowledge while under George Bolton's moral care that 
he could not be sworn, " as he did not know what would happen 
him if he told a lie." That evidently is a question of dispute 
among the saintly theologians of the Castle. 

But was it intended that this boy should be examined ? After 
all, may not the Crown Counsel have acted in perfect good faith 
in producing him on the table ? Alas ! again this fatal Crown 
brief which strayed into my hands comes up in judgment. And, 
oh, what a terrible story does it not reveal in a few words ! This 
boy's dying declaration is, as I have said, stowed away in the back 
page of the printed Crown brief. The brief itself bears date 
" October, 1882," and so early as that, a fortnight at least before 
any trial came on, we find, printed in italics under this boy's 
declaration, the following direction from the Crown solicitor to 
the prosecuting counsel — 

{Patrick Joyce has recovered, but his evidence is worthless.) 
Now, then, we have the key to the farce that was played before 
the judge and jury in placing this boy on the table. " His 
evidence was worthless." So says the discriminating Bolton. We 



43 

should all be anxious to know why, if Earl Spencer could only 
bring his conscience to allow him make inquiry. Perhaps Mr. 
George Bolton and Mr. Brady will again turn out a fresh memo- 
randum to explain. Perhaps Mr. Justice Johnson, then Attorney- 
General, can smooth the difficulty, or Mr. Justice Murphy, then 
prosecuting counsel, or Mr. Serjeant O'Brien, Q.C., then junior 
prosecuting counsel ? 

I shall leave the public to make their comments. I freely 
confess I could not well trust myself to give expression to my 
feelings with regard to this feature of the case. In bringing these 
chapters to a conclusion, I think I may so far anticipate the 
verdict of my readers as to say that I have established my case. 
Let Earl Spencer refuse inquiry ; let the judge who was entrapped 
into a wrongful sentence on a capital charge rest satisfied with 
what has taken place j let Mr. Bolton and Mr. Brady mutually 
acquit each other ; the public are now in possession of the fact 5 ?, 
and officials who would acquit themselves of the blood of the 
innocent will need to vindicate themselves. Inquiry was refused 
It rests with those who demanded it to say whether the cry for 
inquiry should not now give way to one for prosecution. 




APPENDIX. 



APPENDIX. 
KEPORT OF THE MAAMTRASNA TRIALS 

(Abridged from the " Freeman's Journal") 



The Freeman's Journal of November 14th, 1882, eontaius the 
following : — 

THE MAAMTRASNA TRAGEDY. 

Yesterday the trials connected with the murder of the Joyce family, at 
Maamtrasna, in the county of Galway, on the night of Thursday, the 17th 
of August last, commenced in Green-street Courthouse. 

Mr. Justice Barry entered court and took his seat upon the bench at a 
quarter past eleven o'clock. 

Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, one of the prisoners, was called to the 
bar. He was brought up from the cells beneath the courthouse by a 
warder. The Crown was represented by the Attorney-General (Mr. 
Johnson, M.P.), Mr. Murphy, Q.C. ; Mr. Peter O'Brien, Q,C, (instructed 
by Mr. George Bolton, Special Crown Solicitor. The prisoners were defended 
by Mr. George Orme Malley, Q.C, and Mr. Stritch (instructed by Mr 
Henry Concannon). 

Mr. Malley, Q.C, said before the Jury was called he had respectfully 
to make an application to His lordship. He moved that this case be postponed 
with the object of obtaining a view of the district over which it was alleged 
the prosecuting witnesses pursued the prisoners in their advance towards the 
house in which this dreadful murder, by whomsoever committed, was com- 
mitted. He moved on the affidavit of Mr. Henry Concannon, solicitor for 
the prisoners. 

The Attorney-General opposed the motion, and after considerable 
argument it was refused. 

Mr. Malley said it was pressed upon him that there was another 
matter in connection with the postponement which it might have been more 
reasonable and convenient for him to have opened with. He found that 
there had been a notice (upon which he now grounded his application) 
announcing that one of the prisoners would be examined on behalf of the 
Crown against the prisoners. That notice had been served upon them at a 
quarter past two o'clock on Saturday, and was dated Saturday, the 11th of 
November, and it stated that Anthony Philbin, one of the prisoners would be 
produced to prove that he went with three of the prisoners to Joyce's house, 
and that they broke into the house. The)- had served notice upon the 
Crown, asking for the contents of the information, and were not supplied 
with it. Under those circumstances he asked his lordship to postpone the 
trial. It was rendered necessary that investigation as to this approver 
should be instituted : and it was rendered most essential that the prisoner 



should not be taken by surprise. In point of fact, it was a general rule that the 
prisoners should be furnished with the details of the intended evidence, and 
that custom had not been adopted in this particular instance. Instead of 
that they had only received information of a most general character. 

The Attorney-General, in opposing the application, said that that 
application was more tenable than the last motion. It was sustained upon 
the ground of surprise, and secondly that there was no time to countermand 
witnesses who had left Dublin; and lastly, that the notice served was 
so general that it gave no precise information. One of the persons had 
confessed to the crime, and had voluntarily stated all the circumstances to the 
Crown Solicitor. For that person, whose name was Anthony Philbin, he 
had entered a nolle jwosequi ; and he would prove that he accompanied three 
of the prisoners, Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill ; Patrick Casey, of Derry ; 
and Myles Joyce, on the night that the murder was committed ; that he saw 
the three of them break into the house, and heard screams and shots after they 
entered the place. In reference to the surprise on the part of the prisoners' 
counsel, he relied upon an affidavit made when the trial was last postponed by the 
solicitor for the defence, and in that affidavit the solicitor stated he had been 
in communication with the prisoners on the 26th of August, when he was 
retained. He was then acquainted with all the circumstances, and the 
Crown knew nothing of that evidence, until the prisoner made that confession, 
and it was immediately supplied to the solicitor for the defence. 

Mr. Murphy said that in every criminal case it was open to the Crown 
to produce any witnesses who could throw light upon a case, and even upon a 
second day of the trial, if important information came to their knowledge, 
whether it tended to a conviction or an acquittal, they were bound to bring it 
forward. They had given the entire evidence of this informer, who said " I 
was one of the party who went to the house. I saw the door broken open by 
three. Heard screams and shots," and that was what this man would come 
forward to depose to. 

Mr. Malley said the prisoner was entitled to a copy of the informations. 
He did not ask his lordship to postpone the trial on the ground. of counter- 
manding the witnesses, as they would still prove an alibi in reference to this 
man Philbin. He still proposed to produce this evidence, and no alteration 
had been made, but they wished to make further inquiries as regarded the 
antecedents of this approver. They had been labouring under the impression 
that this man was a true man all through, and had been under that 
impression up to Saturday ; and had they known it sooner a different course 
would have been pursued, but now the entire front had been changed. 

Mr. Justice Barry said if prisoners' counsel had pointed out any distinct 
matter of surprise he certainly, for one, would not hesitate to give ample 
opportunity to recover from the surprise, but as he understood a statement 
had been furnished, coming from a so-called approver, and he understood 
that his evidence would be of the same class as that on the information — 

The Attorney- General — Identical. 

Mr. Justice Barry said in the absence of an affidavit pointing out distinct 
matters of surprise he could not grant the application. 

The two special jury panels, consisting of 200 names, were then called 
over by Mr. O'Neill, deputy Clerk of the Peace, on fines of £20, a number of 
the gentlemen who had been summoned were absent. 

The following nineteen gentlemen were challenged for the prisoner : — 

Frederick Maunders, Simmonscourt ; Frederick Thompson, Breffni- 
terrace ; L. George Watson, Blackrock ; Alexander Robinson, Grafton-street : 
William Seale, Grafton-street ; John Gibbs, Pembroke-road ; John Harris, 
Dawson-street ; James Robertson, Dawson-street ; William R. Jones, 
Monkstown ; Stannus Geoghegan, Kingstown ; Henry Thwaite Arnott, 
Ormond-quay ; Joseph Lewers, Sackville-street ; William Carter, Poolbeg- 
street ; William Perrin, Northumberland-road ; Charles W. Thompson, 
Mulhuddert ; Charles Bailey, Finglas ; Henry Thomas Dockrell, Kingstown : 






Sir Thomas A. Jones, Mount-street ; William Battersby, Westmoreland- 
street. 

The following gentlemen were ordered by Mr. Bolton to "stand by." 

Richard O'Malley, Woodlands, Santry ; Samuel Kelly, 18 Burlington - 
road; Cbarles W. Harrison, 178 Great Brunswick-street': George Jordan, 
31 Grafton-street; Christopher Kelly, 89 Upper Sackville-street ; George 
Beattie, Donabate ; James J. Carroll, Tudor Castle, Dalkey : Joseph 
Fitzpatrick, Swords ; Peter Leetch, 2 Drumcondra-road, Peter M'Cready, 3 
and 4 Belview ; James Dollard, 40 and 41 North Strand-street ; James 
Shiel, Rathcool ; Myles Kelly, Kingstown ; Charles Bewley Pirn, 6 Dame- 
street ; Michael Hayden, South Great George's-street; Joseph Begg, 105 
Capel-street ; Patrick Gordon, 02 Middle Abbey-street ; Thomas Kelly, 
Rathcoole ; Michael O'Reilly, Thomas-street ; Joseph B. Pirn, Westland- 
row ; George Dixon, Kingstown ; Hugh O'Donnell, Queen-street; Francis 
Carr, Mulhuddert ; Ed. Malone, Lucan : Daniel Toole, Henry-street ; James 
Fitzgerald, Sir John Rogerson's-quay ; Andrew Thompson, Ormond-quay ; 
Andrew Derham, Skerries ; James Joyce, Duke-street, ; Daniel Sherwin, 
Hollywood Little, Naul ; Robert Richardson, Monkstown ; John Carver, 
Earl-street ; Frederick Keightly, Westland-row ; William Pillar, Camden- 
street ; Richard Mangan, Finglas ; Richard Pigott, Vesey-place, Kingstown. 

The following jury was sworn — 

Maurice Leonard, Leinster-road, salesmaster ; Charles J. Evans, Upper 
George's-street, Kingstown, shopkeeper; William Carty, Grafton-street, 
jeweller; Wilfred Fitzgerald, Andrew-street, stockbroker; Joseph H. 
Ferguson. Ely-place, lodging-house keeper; W r m. F. Lennon, Rostrevor- 
terrace, saddlier ; Mark A. Toomey, Stephen's-green, wine merchant ; Chas. 
Aungier, Dominick-street, landowner ; James Beatty, Kingstown, bank 
manager ; Luke John M'Donnell, Merrion-square ; Luke Toole, D'Olier- 
street, seed merchant ; Alexander Bayley, Morehampton-road, major. 

Patrick Joyce, the prisoner who had been put forward, was then for- 
mally indicted for the wilful murder of John Joyce, on the 18th of August 
last. 

The Attorney-General opened the case for the Crown. 
[The following passages of the statement of the Attorney- General are of 

interest as bearing upon the correspondence and arguments that have 

recently taken place with reference to this case.] 

This murder was one of appalling atrocity. Out of a family consisting of 
six members, four were massacred outright, the fifth was so mortally wounded 
that he died the following day ; the remaining member, a little child, was 
battered about the head, and left for dead. The victims were the father of 
the house, who was fifty years of age ; his wife — the second wife — who was 
about forty-five years ; the old woman, the mother of John Joyce and the 
grandmother of the children, who was eighty years old ; the fourth victim 
was the second son, Michael, whose age was about seventeen ; the fifth was 
the only daughter, fourteen years of age ; and the sixth was a little boy, who 
was aged between nine and ten years. The eldest son, Martin, was not in the 
house on the night of the massacre, the 17th of August; he was absent on 
business in Clonbur, and might be'dismissed from their memories. On Thurs- 
day, the 17th August, the night was dark, but fine. The new moon was about 
her fourth day, and therefore there was noc much light. 

* * * 

As he had said, there was reason why Anthony Joyce thought it neces- 
sary to keep an eye upon this party, and they would see that by a cross- 
examination by the prisoner at the bar. because before the magistrates he 
asked John Joyce had he not a spite against him, and he replied that he be- 
lieved there was not an outrage in the country but that he (the prisoner) was 
at tb.c head of, and that be should have been hanged years ago. John Joyce's 
sheep had been torn and cut, and a foal belonging to him thrown into Lough 



Mask, a lake that has concealed more than one mystery, and which it had 

given up to police justice. 

* * * 

The prisoner was arrested in his own house on the 20th August. The 
constable who was sent for that purpose was not then aware that any other 
person would be arrested. But apparently a guilty conscience at once struck 
the prisoner at the bar. lie asked the constable whether he had heard that 
Philbin was arrested. The constable told him he had not heard it, and 
thereupon the prisoner at the bar made this remarkable observation : " I sup- 
pose if he is he will be taken by the Cappaduff police to Ballinrobe." Philbin 
was one of his accomplices in the murder of the Joyce family. 

Mr. John Henry Kyan, C.E., the first witness produced a large map, 
drawn by himself, of the scene of the murder after three visits. He ex- 
plained to the Jury the places marked upon it — the respective positions of 
the prisoners' houses and that of the murdered family, their distance apart, 
and the character of the intervening ground. He also submitted a plan of 
the house in which the murder was committed. 

Cross-examined at considerable length by Mr. Malley, witness said the 
tree at which one of the witnesses alleged he was standing while the prisoners 
entered the house was 57 feet distant from the house. The line of vision 
would enable such a person barely to see men entering the house. 

In reply to Mr. Justice Barry, witness stated that, having walked the 
route which the witnesses described they took, he believed it was possible for 
them to see everything they stated they had seen. 

John Collins, an Irish speaking witness, for whom an interpreter had to 
be sworn, deposed — to Mr. O'Brien — On the Morning of the J 8th August 
last I remember going to the house of John Joyce, of Maamtrasna. There 
were two men opposite the house at the time. The door was broken off its 
hinges. I went in and saw John Joyce lying on the floor of the 
kitchen, dead. I went out and told the two men, and then went to the village. 
I returned with some of the villagers, and we went again into the house. 
John Joyce's body was still in the same place as I had first seen it, and was 
quite naked. Bridget Joyce, his wife, was lying in the bed, dead. The 
grandmother and the daughter were in another bed in a little room, dead. 
Michael Joyce was lying in the bed in the kitchen, alive. He was able to 
speak, but badly. Pat Joyce, a little boy, was also alive. I asked Michael 
Joyce what happened him. I and ten more of the villagers then went to the 
police, and two constables went to- the house. 

Constable John Johnson deposed to the Attorney- General — I was 
stationed on the 18th August at Finney, a temporary station. About a 
quarter-past nine some of the villagers of Maamtrasna came to the station, 
and from what they told me, I went to John Joyce's house. I found John 
Joyce, whom I knew well previously, lying on the floor, his head towards the 
fire and his feet towards the door. He was dead and cold. There were two 
bullet-marks on his body— one on the right breast and another on the right 
side. The wife of John Joyce was lying in the bed. I examined her body. 
There was a large wound on her forehead, over the right eye. Her skull 
was broken ; she was dead. Michael Joyce was lying beside her ; he was 
alive, but weak, and scarcely able to speak. He had one bullet wound under 
the right ear, and another in his right side. I spoke to Michael through an 
interpreter, and he answered. He appeared to be choking. I got him a 
drink, after which he spoke a little better. I went to the inner room, and 
saw, lying on the bed, the old woman. She was stripped and dead. Her left 
arm was hanging down beside the bed. The flesh was off it from the elbow 
down to the hand. She was lying partly on her face, her head slightly up- 
turned. I examined her, and found a large wound over her ear, in some- 
what the same place as on John Joyce's wife. There was a large pool of 
blood about her head. Her skull was broken in. In the bed, lying behind 
her, was the young girl, her granddaughter. Her head was a little raised, 



and was beside the old woman's feet. Her skull was also broken in, and her 
brains were flowing out. She was also in her night dress. I saw the little 
boy Patsey in the same bed. He was alive, in a very weak state, and greatly 
frightened. I raised him, and spoke to him. His eye was closed. There 
were two wounds on his head — one over the eye and another above the ear. 
He was naked. There were two dogs in the room, and I had great difficulty 
to put them out. One ran under the bed, and I could not get it away for 
some time. When I spoke to Patsey he answered me. When I returned to 
the kitchen I found a small bullet — a revolver bullet — beside the body of 
John Joyce. There were two bullet marks on the wall over the bed in the 
kitchen, one at the head of the bed, and the other at the foot. In the eve- 
ning, about four o'clock, I returned to the house ; Michael had just died. I 
was present at the post-mortem examination, and saw this bullet (produced) 
extracted by the doctor. It was taken, I think, from the spine. Another 
fell from the jaw during the doctor's examination. This bullet (produced) 
was found in the body of the father, John Joyce. The bullets were given 
by the doctor at the inquest to the sub-inspector, who handed them to me, 
and I have since had them in my possession. I searched the house on Satur- 
day and Sunday, but found nothing, and on Monday I discovered another 
bullet near where I had found Michael Joyce lying. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Malley — There were in all five bullets found, 
and they are of three sizes. The police hut near the house where the murder 
was committed has been only erected since the murder. 

Re-examined by the Attorney- General — Witness was out on the night of 
the murder from nine o'clock till one in the morning. There was a bright 
starlight at the time. 

The Independent Witnesses. 
Anthony Joyce, aged about 45 years, was next examined, through the 
interpreter, by Mr. Murphy — He recollected the night of the l?th August. 
He was not sure at what hour he went to bed that night. When he had 
been in bed some time the barking of his dog awoke him. He got up and 
went to the door, and saw six men, whom he did* not know at firet. He then 
went round to the back of his house, and he saw the six men again there. He 
then recognised the six men. Their names were — Anthony Philbin, Tom 
Casey, Martin Joyce, Myles Joyce, Patrick Joyce, and Tom Joyce, of Cap- 
penarceena. He had known four of the men since his youth, but two of them 
lived some distance' away from him, Tom Casey and Anthony Philbin. 
Witness, after a time, went to the house of his brother, having nothing on him 
but his shirt, trousers, and a flannel vest. He went the "short cut; " his 
brother and nephew came out. He then observed the six men going towards 
the house of Michael Casey. Witness and his brother and nephew followed 
them. They went into Casey's house, and, on coming out, they went the 
back-road. The number of men at this time was ten. The other four were 
Pat Joyce (the prisoner identified by the witness), Patrick Casey, John 
Casey, and Michael Casey. Witness saw them coming out of Casey's house, 
and went behind a hedge. Witness went down after them, accompanied by 
his brother and nephew. The ten men then went towards the lake until they 
came to the river of Strangalone, when they crossed the river and went 
towards Maamtrasna. Witness and his companions were following them, no 
matter where they would go. He knew John Joyce's house at Maamtrasna. 
He saw the ten men go up to that house, and then he heard noise at the door. 
At this time witness, his brother, and nephew were behind a bush. Some of 
the ten men went in, the others remained outside. Witness then heard noise, 
like people beating at the door. He heard people in the house shouting and 
screeching. He could, not distinguish the screams of women from those of 
men. He did not wait after that, but he and his brother and nephew ran 
back as quickly as they could to their own houses. Witness stayed at his 
brother's from that time until the break of day. He saw the police next day 
(Friday), about dinner time. On Saturday he was at Finney and saw some 



6 

of the men taken by the police. He saw them again before Mr. Gardner, the 
magistrate, at Cong, and the prisoner was there. He was examined in 
their presence. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Malley — Witness said all his clothes were off 
except his shirt when he heard his dog barking. He did not put on his shoes 
that night. He could not say whicli of the ten men were first into the 
prisoner Casey's house, but he saw tne six men go in. 

Mr. Malley — Did they make any noise at Casey's house ? They Avent in 
as soon as they went to the door. When the ten men came out of the house 
he " cut " across a short way, and followed them. He saw no other men on 
the road up to the schoolhouse but the ten men. He was about one hundred 
yards from the men, and was not sure if he was two hundred. He kept to 
the right side while the others would be on the left. His brother and nephew 
kept with him all the time. 

Did the ten men reach John Joyce's house (Maamtrasna) before you ? 
Yes, they were around at the steps of the door. 

Did they all rush in at once ? They all did not. Only some of them 
went in. 

Did you hear a shot ? I heard a noise, and could not say if it was the 
noise of a gun or a pistol. At daybreak he went alone from his brother's 
house to his own, but his brother and nephew stood at their door watching 
after him. He was at the wake of the murdered family on the Friday 
night. 

Re-examined by Mr. Murphy — The police were about the house on that 
Friday night, and also in the house guarding the dead bodies. 

This concluded the witness's evidence, and at five o'clock the court rose. 

Policemen and bailiff s were sworn in to take charge of the jurors. The 
hearing of the case will be resumed at ten o'clock this morning. The prisoners 
were removed under strong escort. 



SECOND DAY. 



(From the " Freeman' 1 '' of November 15.) 
Yesterday the trial of Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, for the wilful 
murder of John Joyce, at Maamtrasna, county Galway, on the night of the 
17th August, was resumed in the Green-street Courthouse before Mr. Justice 
Barry. 

Mr. Justice Barry entered court shortly after ten o'clock. 

The jury arrived a few minutes later, and the foreman mentioned that 
they had been very comfortable on the previous night in theGresham Hotel. 
They answered to their names. 

The examination of further witnesses for the prosecution was continued 

John Joyce, an Irish-speaking witness, deposed, through the interpreter, 
to the Attorney- General — I live at Derry. On the night of the murder, 
when I was in bed, my brother Anthony came to my house. All my family 
were then in bed. Anthony awoke me, and I went out with him. I saw six 
persons near my house, but did not know them. I saw them go into Michael 
Casey's house, which is not far from mine. When they came out from 
Casey's house there were ten men in the party. I then knew them all. When 
they came out of Casey's house I was able to recognise the six who had 
formed the first party. The names of the ten men were Anthony Philbin, 
Thomas Casey, Martin "Joyce, Myles Joyce, Pat Joyce, of Cappanacreha, 
and his son, Thomas Joyce. Pat Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, John Casey, Pat 
Casey, Michael Casey. It was behind a bush near Casey's house that I first 
knew them. My brother and son were with me. The men, after leaving 
Casey's house, went towards Maamtrasna. I showed the gentleman who 
made the map (Mr. Ryan, C.E.), the route the men took and the route by 
which we followed them by John Joyce's house. We stood behind a bush a 
little outside John Joyce's yard when the party came to the house. There 



was a noise at the door : some of the party went into the house, and some 
remained outside. I heard noise in the house, but could not say what it was 
like — thunder or something. There were men and women screaming. When 
we heard the noise and screaming in Joyce's house we three went home to 
my house. I was afterwards present when the prisoner was charged before 
the magistrates with murder. He asked me some questions which I answered. 
Before that time some of my horses and sheep were injured. 

The Attorney-General — What was done to your horses ? 

Mr. Malley objected to the question. 

The Attorney-General — The question asked this witness by the prisoner, 
was — " Did you and your son and your brother Michael strike me in Michael's 
house for killing your horses ?" 

Mr. Malley — That necessarily raises the question of the guilt or inno- 
cence of the prisoner at the bar of this additional crime. 

Mr. Justice Barry — Oh, no. 

The Attorney- General — Now, tell what was done to your horses. 

The witness replied that they were injured. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Malley — I could not say how long I had been in 
bed when Anthony, my brother, roused me. I did not put on my coat or 
shoes. I went out with Anthony in my trowsers, waistcoat and hat, leaving 
in the house my daughter, son and wife. Anthony had roused me by knock- 
ing at the door. I opened the door at once. I have dogs, but they did not 
bark. When I left my house I went across my green field at the end of my 
house. The party was in Casey's house while we were crossing this field. 
They were still in Casey's house when we came into Casey's garden. When 
the party left the house we followed them along the old road to the school- 
house. I could not tell which of the party came out of Casey's house first or 
last. I could not tell how any of them was dressed. They all wore dark 
clothes. We were not very far behind the party after they left Casey's house, 
not farther than that window (pointing to a window in the back wall of the 
courthouse). We separated from the party to take a short-cut from the school- 
house to John Joyce's house, but we kept them in sight all the^time. When 
we came up to the bush the party was entering the yard attached to John 
Joyce's house. Some went in and some remained outside. Could not tell 
how many went in. On my way back from the bush to my own house I could 
not be seen by men standing outside John Joyce's house. They could not see 
me unless they met me. 

To Mr. Justice Barry — We left the bush before the men came out of 
Joyce's house. 

By Mr. Malley — We left when the murder and noise commenced in 
Joyce's house. Before going, however, I saw that some of the men were 
standing outside the door of the house. It was not day-light when we got 
back to my house. There was no moon. I never had a quarrel with the 
prisoners, but on one occasion in the winter at a dance the prisoner's son 
created some disturbance and I threw him out ; on another occasion the pri- 
soner followed my son with a knife and hammer in his haud ; my son had no 
weapon ; he merely had a basket on his back and was going for turf. My son 
told me he had to wait in a house till the police came. 

At this point a juror handed down a note to the judge. 

Mr. Justice Barry — One of the jury wish to know did the ten men keep 
close together or were they scattered. 

The Interpreter — He says they were not scattered about, that they all 
kept together. 

Mr. Justice Barry— Did one appear to be leading the others, or did they 
all walk together ? 

The Interpreter — He says " No ; they all kept together the whole time." 

By Mr. Malley — There were none of them much before the others. 

A Juror — Ask him what made him follow the men that night. 

The Interpreter — He says " To see where they were going." 



Another Juror (Mr. Toomey) — Ask him where was the exact spot at 
which he identified the prisoner among the ten. 

The Interpreter — He says it was along with the others. 

The Attorney- General — Yes, but where? 

The Interpreter — Behind Michael Casey's house. 

Patrick Joyce, an Irish -speaking witness, and son of the last witness, in 
reply to Mr. O'Brien, Q.C., deposed — I recollect the night my uncle Anthony 
came to the house. My father got up out of bed, and I also did. My sister 
Mary also got up. My father and myself left the house together, and when 
we came out we saw some people whom we did not know at that time. I saw 
them going into Casey's house. The number of persons was six, and subse- 
quently I saw ten come out of Casey's house, and I then knew them all but 
one. [The witness mentioned all the names of the prisoners except Philbin.] 
I saw the prisoner there that night. We followed them all to John Joyce's 
house, where we saw some go in and others remain outside. My father, 
uncle, and myself were near the house, near a tree, beside a wall. I heard a 
noise at Joyce's door, but I could not say that all of them went in. After 
those who did go in I heard a noise. 

Mr. O'Brien — Was it the sound of voices ? I heard the noise of people 
inside, and when we did we went home as quick as we could. 

A Juror — Why did you follow these men ? We followed them to see 
what place they were going to, and what they were going to do. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Stritch — Was it mere curiosity that brought you 
after them ? It was to see what they were about. 

To see if you could get anything against them ? It was. 

Are you in the habit of going out to see what people are doing at night ? 
No. We did not go out until my uncle came. There was not much noise 
made when my uncle was knocking at the door. He told me to get up. 

At this stage of the witness's evidence his lordship remarked he had never 
heard better interpretation in a court before. 

Witness continued— They told me to get up when my uncle came in. 

Were you and your uncle on good terms with the prisoner ? We were. 

Had you any quarrel with him ? I had no quarrel with him, but my 
father had, at a dance, when my father threw him out of the house. The 
prisoner on one occasion followed me with a knife and hammer, and I had to 
go to my uncle's house, where a police sergeant took me out. That was three 
years ago. I had a gun about three years ago. The morning of the murder 
I had not a gun with me, and I did not meet a girl named Margaret Casey. 

Did you in the presence of your uncle Michael tell the murdered man 
that if he did not give up his gun you would be square with him ? I did 
not. 

Mr. Toomey (juror) — What did your uncle say to you that night he 
called ? He said there were six men outside, and to get up and see what they 
were about. 

To another juror — I saw the prisoner at Joyce's house the night of the 
murder. 

Mary Joyce, a young woman, deposed, in English, to Mr. O'Brien — I am 
the daughter of John Joyce, of Derry. I recollect my uncle Anthony Joyce 
comiag to the house the night John Joyce, of Maamtrasna, was murdered. I 
was in bed. I don't know the hour. Anthony knocked and my father went 
to the door. Anthony told him there were some people on the road. My 
father then got up as fast as he could. My father and brother went out with 
my uncle Anthony. They were away a good while, and came back together 
before the break of day. I was then in bed, but had not slept during their 
absence. 

The witness was not cross-examined. 

Anthony Philbin, the approver, was then called. He deposed, in English, 
in reply to Mr. Murphy — I live at Cappaduff, County Mayo. I have been at 
various times in England. The last time I was there for nine or ten years. I 



9 

lived chiefly in the county of Northumberland. I came back to Cappaduff four 
or five years ago. I have a brother-in-law named Tom Casey living at Glen- 
sal. On the night of the murder my brother-in-law met me a little distance 
from my own house. I had gone on the evening of that day to a wake, and 
after my return I remained a short time in my house. I then went out to look 
if there were any trespassers on my land, and soon afterwards met Tom 
Casey. I had known the prisoner. On the night of the murder I met Tom 
Casey in the second field from my house, about eighty yards from my house. 
I live about five or six miles from Maamtrasna, On the way to Deny we 
met three men as we crossed the river at Cappanacreha. The three men were 
Myles Joyce, Patrick Joyce, and his son, whom I did not know then, but 
whose name I have since learned to be Tom. 

Did the five of you go on together then? We did, sir, for a 8hort 
distance. 

Did you meet any other man ? Yes, Martin Joyce. 

Where were you when you met Martin Joyce ? Some short distance 
away from my house ; I don't know the land as I was only there once 
before. 

Could you say what hour of the night it was when you six met together ? 
It would be eleven o'clock anyway ; between eleven and twelve o'clock, I dare 
say. 

Where did Martin Joyce come from to join you ? He came out from a 
field to us. 

Where did the six men then go, you being one of them? To Casey's 
house. 

Which of the Caseys ? There are three houses close together, belonging 
to the Caseys. Five of the men went to Michael Casey's house, and I re- 
mained in the yard outside. 

What distance was it. from Casey's house to where Martin Joyce had 
joined you ? I do not know. It was some distance. We were six in 
number going up to Casey's house. The five men did not remain long in 
Casey's house. I joined them again when they came out, and I then took 
notice of four other men. 

Who were the other four whom you noticed? Patrick Casey, John 
Casey, Michael Casey, and Patrick Joyce. 

Was that Patrick Joyce the father of the present prisoner ? Yes, sir. 
When the men came out of Casey's, you being ten in number, where did 
you go ? We went down under Casey's house. I crossed a ditch and into a 
field. I asked Martin Joyce then where they were going to. 

Had the prisoner, Pat Joyce, joined the party at this time? Yes, sir. 
Mr. Malley — Was he within hearing when you asked where they were 
going? 

Mr. Murphy desired to have the answer of Martin Joyce given in 
evidence. 

Mr. Justice Barry — It is really not worth while arguing about. The real 
point is where they went to. 

Mr. Murphy (to witness) — Where did the ten men go to ? 

Witness — I did not know, then, but I asked Martin Joyce 

Don't mind what you asked him ; tell us where did you all go r They 
went away until they came to^ a street and a house, which I did not 
know. 

Did you all go together ? Sometimes they would be together and some- 
times they would not be together ; when going over a ditch or a drain they 
would scatter. 

When you were all going on, were you in front, or in the middle, or 

behind ? I was*behind. 

Who was with you chiefly ? The one who chiefly kept my company was 
young Tom Joyce. 

Had you any arms ? No, sir. 



10 

Did you see any arms with anyone ? I saw some when we got to the street 
and the house whichl did not know. 

What arms did you see there ? I saw a revolver with one of the pri- 
soners. 

With whom did you see the revolver ? With Patrick Joyce, the prisoner 
there. 

When they came to the street and the house you have spoken of did you 
see them going to the door ? I did, sir. 

What was done with the door ? They broke it in. 

Where were you exactly when they were at the door ? We came out of 
the garden by the side of the gable, and I was hindermost. There was a 
little wall, and we got out in front of the door. There were two or three 
men between me and the men who broke in the door. 

Who broke in the door ? Patrick Casey, of Derry, Myles Joyce, of 
Cappanacreha, and Pat Joyce, the prisoner there. 

Did you see those three men you have named go into the house ? I did, 
sir. 

Are you able to state whether any others went into the house ? I did 
not see any others going in. 

After they entered the house did you hear any noise from inside ? I 
heard screeches. 

Anything else ? I heard a shot fired. 

What did you do when you heard the screeches and the shot ? I got 
frightened ; I turned round, and went away. 

Did you go away by the same way you had come ? No ; the nearest 
road I could find I broke into. 

Did you hear more than one shot ? When I was a few yards off from 
" the street," I heard another shot, and I went away as fast as I could. I 
was frightened for leaving them. 

Where did you make for ? I went home, without waiting for my 
hrother-in-law or anyone of the party. I made off as soon as I could. ~ I saw 
none of them again that night. 

When going towards this house how far were you and Tom Casey, your 
companion, behind the others ? Not much ; but we could not know the first 
man. Sometimes one or two would advance to the front, and then these 
would fall back to our company, and others would be in front. Nobody else 
joined us that I took notice of. 

When were you arrested ? Between the following Saturday night and 
Sunday morning. 

Did you see Patrick Joyce, the prisoner, after the breaking in of the 
door and before your arrest ? No ; I did not wait to see anyone. 

Did you see your brother-in-law, Tom Casey, next day ? No, sir, I did 
not. 

Or any of the party at all ? No ; I went to the wake of Peter Quinn 
on Friday night, and to his funeral on Saturday, and not one of the party 
was there. 

Mr. Justice Barry — Did you know Anthony Joyce before ? 

Witness— I knew him by sight. I often saw him going to Mass, but did 
not know his name. 

Did j on know his brother John, and John's son, Pat? I knew John, 
but not Pat. 

Examination, in chief, continued by Mr. Murphy— From the night of the 
murder up to the present have you spoken to Anthony Joyce, or to his 
brother John, or John's son, Pat ? I spoke a word to Anthony the night I 
was arrested. 

Was that when you heard them giving their evidence before the magis- 
trate ? Yes. 

Did you put them some questions yourself then, after you heard them 
swearing ? I did, sir. 



11 

Was that the only time you spoke to them ? Yes. 

On the night of the murder, after you left Casey's house, did you notice 
any persons at all following you ? No, sir, I did not. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Malley — You were brought before the magis- 
trate ? I was, sir, at Cong. 

And when yon were brought before the magistrate you heard Anthony 
Joyce, John Joyce, and Patrick Joyce tell this story ? Yes. 

The whole of this story of going from Derry to Maamtrasna ? I did 
not hear them tell the whole of the story. They did not tell all tbat I 
knew. 

Did they tell that they saw you going along to the murdered family's 
house ? They did, but they did not tell the truth when they said they saw me 
going with the six men into the house. I do not know Anthony Joyce's 
house- 
Did they tell the truth when they said you went into Casey's house with 
the five men ? I did not go in. 

They could not, then, have told the truth if they said you came out of 
the house with the ten men ? I was below the house, and it was there I 
joined them. 

How far was that ? Not many yards — not much more than ten. 

Did you keep that distance from them all the Avay to Maamtrasna ? 
(No answer.) 

Do you understand what I am saying ? I do, sir. 

And why don't you answer ? (Question repeated.) I was up with them 
sometimes and behind them four or fi?e yards. We passed over a few 
ditches. 

Where did you cross the river ? I am not acquainted with the land 
there. When we went to Casey's house they went in, and I went around 
behind the house. 

Do you know the house next to the house of the murdered man ? I don't 
know, sir. I took no notice of it. 

Where were you exactly standing when the men broke in the door ? 
About three or four yards behind them, and I then moved ouf " foment" the 
door. 

Did you remain below the house ? When the men broke into the house 
1 broke and advanced away. 

Had the men gone into the house before you went away ? They had. 
As soon as I came into the street before the house they broke in the door, and 
when I heard the screams and shot I went away the nearest way. I got 
frightened. 

What do you call the nearest ? Any way that it was my advantage to 
go. 

Did you go back the way you came or not ? I went the best way. 

Was that the way you came ? I went through other fields to take the 
nearest way. 

When going back home did you meet anybody ? No, sir, nor did I hear 
any footsteps. 

Now you know what the three men Joyce proved against yourself, that 
is if their story be true? I heard them swearing. 

When you were present before the magistrates did you cross-examine 
tl e ii? I asked them a few questions. 

Was not that to show that you were not at Maamtrasna at all ? I only 
asked them how long they knew me. 

Was not that to show that you were not there at all ? It was not to show 
hat I was there. The men were not swearing anything against me. 

Was it not to defend yourself that you put those questions ? Everybody 
was asking questions. 

(Question repeated). 

Mr Murphy — Answer the question. 



12 

Witness — Every man was asking questions, and we were told to do so. 

Mr. Malley — On your oath, were you not afraid you would be punished 
for this crime ? To be sure I was afraid. 

And was it not because you were afraid you swore against that man in 
the dock, and to clear yourself ? It was because I had nothing to do with it 
myself. I did not do any harm. 

When you met your brother-in-law, Tom Casey, how far were you from 
Derry ? About three miles. 

What brought you those three miles ? Tom Casey told me he wanted 
me, and said he wanted to see the boys. 

Was it mere curiosity that brought you to see him— to accompany him ? 
I did not know what business he wanted of me. 

Did you know when he said that the boys wanted you what he meant ? I 
did not know what business he had. 

Had you any talk with him ? I said it was a very strange thing going so 
far such a dark night. 

Mr. Murphy — What did he say to you ? He said he wanted to see 
"the boys." 

Cross-examination continued — Were you trembling when the Joyce's 
were telling the story? Of course; such a charge against anybody would 
frighten them. 

Did you not tell me at first you were not afraid, and say " Why would 1 
be afraid ?" Why would I be afraid when I did nothing wrong ? 

You saw no way of getting out of it except by turning against the others ? 
Would I be punished for another man's doings ? 

Did you not go that night upon your own free will ? I would not have 
gone if I knew they were going to murder the man. I went with the men 
for company. 

How far were you from your own house when you met Casey ? About 
eighty yards. 

Have you a family ? I have a wife and four children. 

The witness was further cross-examined as to whether on the night of 
the murder he was at a wake upon a man named Quinn. He said he was, 
and he denied speaking to his mother-in-law, who was at the wake. He did 
not tell her that his wife could not attend the wake as her infant was sick. 
He did not go home from the wake with a man named Cusack or with Thomas 
Quinn. He left the wake about nightfall ; that was about ten o'clock. 

Why did you leave the wake so early ? I thought it was time for a re- 
spectable man to go home, unless he intended to stay till morning. 

Was it because it was time to go home that you left ? To be sure. He 
did not think he would have met Thomas Casey. He had been home, and 
had come out again to see if there were any trespassers, and it was then he 
met Casey. 

Re-examined by Mr. Murphy — When Tom Casey said you were to meet 
the boys did you know what he meant ? I did not. I thought it was with 
Michael Casey he had some business. 

In examining one of the Joyces before the magistrate did he not give you 
this answer, "I never saw you do anything except that you were with them 
that night, and to the best of my belief if you were left where you were you 
would have done nothing." 

The witness said he remembered receiving the answer, and added that 
Patrick Joyce swore he did not see him there. When going up to Casey's 
house they were four in number, and when leaving it they were ten in 
number. 

Mr. Toomey (Juror) — How many men went into the house ? Only three 
— Myles Joyce, Pat Casey, and Patrick Joyce, the prisoner. The prisoner 
had a revolver in his hand, and another of them had a short stick. 

Judge Barry — How did they force the door? I saw them weighing 
against it. 



13 

Thomas Casey, brother-in-law of the last witness, and another approver, 
was next examined by the Attorney-General. He was frequently told to 
speak loudly, his voice being sometimes inaudible. He said he was one of the 
persons charged with being concerned in the murders. He went to the last 
witness upon the night of the murder. They met Myles Joyce, Pat Joyce, 
and Tom Joyce, whom he knew before that night. He had been previously at 
work in North Shields. Two other men named Neill and Kelly joined the 
party. They crossed the ribble and went to Joyce's house. He did not know 
Joyce's house before. Some of the party pushed in the door — he believed five 
•>f them. They were Myles Joyce, Patrick Joyce, and Patrick Casey, and the 
two other men, Kelly and Neill, who were not in custody. Could not say if 
the door was broken in. He heard reports of shots and then screams. That 
was after the men had broken in, and before they entered the house was 
dark, and then there was light. The screams were loud, and then there was 
shouting. Some of the men came out, but he could not say who they were. 
They were about a quarter of an hour outside the house. 

Did you go away alone ? I ran away as fast as I could. 

Did you hear more than one shot ? I heard many shots, but I cannot tell 
how many. Saw the last witness run away. 

How long do you know the prisoner? I know him a good many years, 
and frequently saw him. Did not know the murdered family, nor did he know 
who was asleep in the house that night. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Stritch — The last time I was in this court I was 
in the dock charged with the murder of these people. 

Was it for the purpose of saving your life you gave this information? I 
should not like to lose my life. 

Have you given this information to save your life ? I have. 

Have you had any conversation with Anthony Philbin ? How could I have 
conversation with him in prison ? 

Did you speak with him in the dock when both of you were last there ? 
We were talking in the dock. We have had no conversation since he gave his 
information. I brought Quinn to Derry on the night of the murder, but I did 
so by the orders I got. 

Mr. Stritch — Never mind the orders now. 

Mr. Murphy — He did mind them, though. 

Cross-examination continued — I was only a few minutes in Michael Casey's 
house. The others remained longer, and I waited outside until they came out. 
I was longer outside than I had been inside Casey's house. I saw Philbin going 
into the yard of John Joyce's house. I could not say whether I went into the 
yard before him. I stood at the gable and Philbin stood beside me. I heard 
the screams from the house. 

And you did not go into the house to save the people ? No. 

You waited outside until the butchery was over. I did. 

Did you hear the shots loudly ? I -did. 

And then you went away, when all was done ? I did. 

And gave information when you were about being tried, for the purpose 
of saving your life ? Yes. 

Re-examined by the Attorney-General — Be very careful not to answer this 
Huestion except by "yes " or "no." Were you talking to Nee after he 
joined the party as you were going to John Joyce's house ? I was. 

A Juror — Who gave you the orders to go there that night ? 

Witness — Patrick Casey. 

Mr. Justice Barry — Was Patrick Casey one of those who broke in the 
door ? Yes, sir. 

A Juror — When did you begin to know what you were going about on 
this night ? I knew they were going, but I did not know it was for murder. 

Did you know there was to be some sort of a row ? I knew there was 
something to be, but I did not know what it was. 



14 

Another Juror — When were you told that? As I was going towards 
Maamtrasna. 

Who told you ? Nee told me. 

Did you see a stick or a shovel with any of them ? Some of them had 
walking sticks, hut I did not see any firearms. 

Another Juror — Are the people in your neighbourhood in the habit of 
carrying sticks ? Yes, walking sticks. 

You did not see a thick stick with any of them ? No. 

Sub-constable Thomas Finn, examined by Mr. O'Brien — I was present 
when the prisoner was arrested on the morning of the 20th August by Con- 
stable Bryan. I searched his house and found a trousers. It was damp, and 
had the appearance of having been washed. I asked the prisoner regarding 
his trousers, and he said it was his [white corduroy trousers produced]. Dr. 
Davys had the trousers for a time. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Malley — I was stationed at Clonbur, and went 
to a temporary station at Finny for a few days before the arrest. The pri- 
soner was arrested in his house. The trousers was hanging on a line in the 
kitchen, not being in the least concealed • and he acknowledged without hesi- 
tation that it was his. I was sent from Clonbur with Constable Bryan to 
investigate the house. I do not know what family the prisoner has. I saw 
no one in his honse but his wife — a young woman. 

Constable Daniel Bryan, examined by Mr. Murphy — On the 20th August 
I, with some sub-constables under my charge, arrested the prisoner. It was 
Sunday. I made the arrest about five o'clock in the morning. I took him 
to Cong. On the way he asked me did I hear whether Anthony Philbin had 
been arrested. I said I did not. He then remarked, " If he is I suppose^) e 
will be taken by the Cappaduff men round to Ballinrobe." This conversation 
occurred about eleven o'clock in the forenoon. At that time I did not know 
that there was any charge against Anthony Philbin. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Stritch— There were four sub-constables with 
me. They had charge of the prisoner Patrick Joyce, and also of- another 
prisoner named Thomas Casey, whom Ave arrested on the way to Finny. 
They were together at Finny while Ave changed horses, and also at Clonbur. 
I did not enter the conversation with Pat Joyce either at Finny or Clonbur. 
I did not consider it necessary to make the entry until I Avent to Cong. I am 
not bound to enter the statements of a prisoner immediately : a delay is no 
harm if a considerable time does not elapse. I Avas too hurried at Finny and 
Clonbur looking after the horses and the prisoners to make the entries 
there 

Re-examined — Cong Avas the first real resting place Ave had. Tom 
Casey is the Case}* who lives at Glensal — brother-in-laAv of Philbin. I 
arrested him in his oavu house. It Avas Avhen both prisoners Avere in custody 
that the conA*ersation took place. 

Head-constable John Wynne deposed to Mr. O'Brien — I went on that 
Saturday to search the house of the murdered man. Constable Geary found 
-a purse containing £3 7s. I saw him take it from a trousers. I assisted at 
the removal of the bodies for the postmortem examination. When Michael's 
body Avas removed from the corner into the centre of the room this bullet 
(produced) dropped from him. It is a revolver bullet. I found it Avhere he 
had been lying. There Avas a AA'onnd in Michael's side, and his entrails were 
protruding. Another bullet, quite flattened, Avas handed to me by Martin 
Joyce, son of the murdered man. There Avere bullet marks on the wall. The 
sister of the murdered man handed me two other bullets Avhich had been 
picked up AA'hen the bed in the kitchen Avas pulled out and shaken. 
The Avitness Avas not cross-examined. 

Mr. John Charles Gardner, B.M., deposed to the Attorney-General — 
John Joyce and others Avere examined at an investigation which Avas held 
before me in presence of the prisoner, aa t 1io cross-examined them. I asked 
each prisoner, including Pat Joyce, if he desired to ask any questions. 



15 

cautioning him that they would be taken down in writing, and might be used 
in evidence against him. Pat Joyce asked some questions. His questions 
and the answers given are contained upon this deposition [exhibited] of John 
Joyce. 

The Attorney-General proposed to read the prisoner's questions and the 
answers of John Joyce thereto. 

Mr. Malley objected to their reception on the ground that insufficient 
caution had been given to the prisoners. 

Mr. Justice Barry allowed the evidence. 

The Attorney- General — The question of the prisoner was, " Had yon 
any spite towards me ?" The answer of John Joyce was, " I believe there 
was nothing going on in the country that you were not at the head of. 
Hanged you ought to be when others were sent to gaol." The next question 
was, "Did you strike me in Michael Joyce's house for killing your horses ?" 
The answer was, " I struck little at you. I cannot say when it was, in con- 
sequence of every badness you were in, that I struck you." 

Sub-Inspector John W. Phillips deposed to Mr. Murphy — I recollect on 
August 21 firing some revolver shots in John Joyce's house. I left Mr. 
Gardner outside the house while 1 did so. 

Mr. Gardner — I stood at the exact spot that the witnesses, Anthony and 
John Joyce, pointed out to me that they occupied on the night of the murder 
when they heard the screams. The sound of the shot was like a dull thud. 
something like the knocking of one's knuckles against the door. I then went 
into the house and fired shots of larger bore, Mr. Phillips standing outside 
where I had been. 

Mr. Phillips — The sound I heard was like a soft blow upon timber. On 
the 23rd August I searched the prisoner's house and found tins revolver c3fse 
in the thatch ; it was at the foot of the thatch with some rags, and could not 
have been observed except by a tall person or a person standing on a stool 
and making a careful search. 

Cross-examined — I am stationed at Limerick, and was brought to Cong 
to assist in the investigation of this case. I was born in the county Galway. 
but left it when very young. The revolver cover, when I. found it, was 
covered with dust, and appeared to have been in the thatch for some time. I 
found no firearms, although I searched the ditches and several houses. I did 
not search the houses of Anthony and John Joyce. 

Mr. Gardner cross-examined — The day we fired the shots was not calm. 
It was blowing pretty fresh, and from where I was standing towards the 
house. I would never have known that the sounds were the reports of fire- 
arms, until I was told. [Mr. Malley here put into the witness's hand a 
loaded revolver, and was proceeding to cross-examine him in reference to it, 
but the Attorney-General objected to the revolver being exhibited while 
loaded. The witness handed the revolver back to Mr. Malley.] 

Mr. Justice Barry — Do you always carry that in your pocket, Mr. 
Malley ? (Laughter.) 

Mr. Malley — I will return it, my lord, to the gentleman who had it. 

(The learned counsel then placed the revolver in a green bag, and 
handed it to the prisoner's solicitor, who placed it on a seat before the dock). 

Dr. Hagarty deposed to the wounds that were inflicted on the murdered 
persons. 

The little boy, Patrick Joyce, who had been beaten on the night of his 
father's murder, was brought upon the table, but through the interpreter lie 
stated lie did not know his catechism, nor was lie aware what would happen 
to him if he told a lie. Under these circumstances the Crown did not 
examine him. 

The Attorney-General then announced that the prosecution by the 
Crown had closed. 

An adjournment was then (at two o'clock) allowed for luncheon. an<l on 
esuming at a quarter before three o'clock, 



16 

Mr. Malley asked for a record of the charge first placed upon the books 
against the accused. 

Mr. O'Neill, deputy Clerk of the Peace, said he had no record beyond 
the indictment upon which the prisoner was taking his trial. 

Mr. Malley said he did not require that ; what he wanted was the charge 
originally laid against them. 

The Attorney-General said the indictment laid against this prisoner was 
the original indictment, and the other accused were included in it. 

Mr. Malley then addressed the jury on behalf of the prisoner. 

Michael Casey, who spoke nothing but Irish, was next examined through 
the interpreter. In reply to Mr. Stritch, he deposed — He was brother to the 
woman that was murdered. He knew Anthony Joyce. He recollected the 
nio-ht of the wake. Joyce spoke to him about the murder of his sister. 

Did he call you aside ? It was out on the hill, and he told him that he 
saw those men going in that direction, and that it would only be right to put 
them out of the country, as it was them who committed the murder. 

Mr. Stritch asked leave to cross-examine the witness. 

His Lordship said as yet he thought the witness was giving his evidence 

fairly. 

In reply to Mr. Stritch, the witness said he told the solicitor all he knew 

about the matter. 

Did he ask you to swear against them. 

The Attorney-General objected, and the question was disallowed. 

Patrick Keenahan, Derrypark, deposed — He resided about a mile from 
Anthony Joyce. He knew John Joyce and Pat Joyce. Recollected the 
morning of the murder. He was out on the field going up the monntain, 
where he met a little boy named O'Brien, who said he was coming from 
Maamtrasna. He afterwards met Pat Joyce (witness), who had a gun in his 
hand. They talked together, but Pat Joyce did not say anything about the 
murder. Pat Joyce was coming from the direction of Maamtrasna. It was 
before breakfast that witness met Joyce. 

Witness was not cross-examined, and this closed the case for the 
defence. * 

Mr. Stritch addressed the jury for the defence. 

Mr. Murphy, Q.C., replied on the part of the Crown. 

The court then rose. 

THIRD DAY. 



(Abridged from " Freeman" of lGth November). 

THE VERDICT— SENTENCE OF DEATH. 

Yesterday, at eleven o'clock, the trial of Patrick Joyce, of Shanvally- 
cahill, for complicity in the murder of John Joyce, of Maamtrasna, was re- 
sumed for the third day in the Green-street Courthouse, before Mr. Justice 
Barry. 

His Lordship's address occupied three-quarters of an hour, and there 
seemed to be some surprise in court when he came to the words "in con- 
clusion," as it was anticipated he would have spoken for at least an hour. 
The jury returned their verdict within eight minutes, and the prisoner was 
condemned to be hung on the 15th December. 

Constable Bryan was re-called at the instance of the learned judge, in 
reply to whom the witness stated that it was he who arrested the prisoner ; 
he also arrested Thomas Casey a short time afterwards, and about four miles 
further on. Before the prisoner used the expression that if Anthony Philbin 
were arrested he would likely be taken by the Cappaduff police to Ballinrobe, 
Casey had no opportunity of conversing with the prisoner. 



17 

Mr. Justice Barry then proceeded to address the jury. He said —Gentle- 
men of the jury, when I look up into that box, and recognise the faces so 
familiar to me, of men not to be surpassed in this city for independence of 
character, for education and intelligence, I shall not occupy time in making any 
prefatory observations with the view of enlisting your attention or of impres"- 
sing upon you the solemnity of the duty which the laws of your country have 
on this occasion imposed upon you. Neither, gentlemen, shall I expatiate 
upon the enormity of the crime — into the circumstances connected with 
which you have been empannelled to inquire — a crime which, in its unparal- 
leled enormity, I'may say without exaggeration startled the civilised world. 
* * * * xhe next witness is one of great importance— Anthony Jovce. 
He says that on the night of the murder he was in bed: that* he was 
awakened by the barking of his dog ; that he went to the door in consequence 
of the noise ; and that he saw six men. He did not recognise them at first, 
he said, but he saw them going towards the old road. He then retired to the 
back of the house, and then he says he knew them. For some 
reason or other, instead of tracing them by himself he went to his 
brother's house and called up his brother and his nephew. Several 
of you were very anxious to ascertain what it was that was passing 
through the minds of those Joyces in pursuing those six people. They did 
pursue them, according to their evidence. It is for you to say whether they 
did or not. There are great difficulties presented to jurors in the state of our 
laws as to what is passing through men's minds at certain times ; you can only 
judge of that by acts. It is for yon to say, as has been suggested, whether 
Anthony Joyce substituted the names of persons against whom he had spite 
for the persons he saw. It has been suggested with undoubted force that if 
these three men were pursuing six men, or, as it afterwards proved, ten men, 
that the ten could turn round and see the three. That is very possible. It is 
difficult to resist such a conclusion. But it may suggest itself to one's mind, 
on the other hand, that in the night, with three men behind and ten men in 
front, engaged on whatever object they had in view, the ten men may not 
have thought of turning round to see if they were being traced in that lonely 
district. The six men are seen going into the house of Michael Casey. Ac- 
cording to the evidence of one of the informers, Anthony Philbin remained out- 
side ; but you may think that that fact, so far from raising any doubt, is con- 
firmatory of the evidence of Anthony Joyce and his brother and nephew, who, 
in the night, if they saw five men going into a house, would say generally, 
" they went in." •.*..** One of the four additional persons who came 
out of Casey's house is sworn by Anthony Joyce to be the prisoner at the bar. 
There was a suggestion made during the very able argument and speech of 
Mr. Malley that these witnesses may have committed this murder themselves, 
and, to screen themselves, had accused others. That suggestion was in a 
manner most becomingly withdrawn by Mr. Malley when it was subsequently 
commented upon. The theories, therefore, presented to you on the evidence 
of those Joyces are — first, that they have invented the entire story, and that 
they did not see the people going at all to Joyce's house ; or that, having seen 
people going, they, with deliberate falsehood, or with reckless assertion, in- 
sisted that it was these ten men they named whom they saw. But as we were 
told in the magnificent oration we heard from Mr Murphy yesterday, it is a 
terrible accusation to bring against the three Joyces — Anthony, John and his 
nephew — that they concocted this story for the purpose of, at one fell swoop, 
destroying these ten men. The ten men did not live in their immediate dis- 
trict; they came from here, and there, and elsewhere. Anthony Philbin 
comes from a district which, according to the evidence, is scarcely known to 
them at all. But that is matter for argument entirely for you, and I may here 
•disclaim any intention of suggesting any conclusion of fact to you. It is not 
my duty, it is not my privilege, and I will not assume the duty or usurp the 
privilege. You may ask — Why fasten upon these ten men out of the whole 
community ? Why fasten upon ten at all ? No doubt it is a terrible accusation 

E 



18 

to bring agains^; those three witnesses. In fact, I think we must concur 
in the observation made by Mr. Murphy, that great as is the guilt of the parties 
avIio slaughtered the Joyces in their wretched dwelling, their guilt would be 
small in comparison with the guilt of the three Joyces in coming into this 
court and, without any motive suggested, swearing away the lives of ten in- 
nocent men. The other theory is that, having seen the party going along 
the road, they falsely or recklessly asserted that the prisoner and the nine 
others were the persons. That is really very little less criminal, if less crimi- 
nal at all, than the other hypothesis — that they invented the story. Again, 
it is impossible to deal with this case without considering that there is a 
peculiar element in it which distinguishes it from other cases— the enormity 
of the crime that has been committed — because in other cases you may deal 
with probabilities and improbabilities, but here there is one dreadful fact — 
that an entire family was slaughtered. * * * * It is said, and we heard 
a great deal of argument on this subject, that in the story that they ran back 
to their own house there is some degree of improbability, because they did not 
run to the police barrack at Finny. Well, really, gentlemen, this is one of 
those murders upon which men of experience and intelligence must exercise 
their own discretion. It is not for me to suggest any conclusion upon that 
subject ; but I know it does not appear to me to be at all unnatural that they 
should run back to their homes, where they would have the shelter of their 
own houses over their heads instead of running the risk of coming in contact 
with those ten men again. I think that was a very natural circumstance, if 
it did occur at all. The truth or falsehood of the evidence given is entirely 
for you. He describes the noise he heard as some kind of thundering or 
screeching. The Crown gave some evidence which perhaps I dealt with as of 
less importance than it really was — namely, the possibility of revolver shots 
being fired in Joyce's house without being heard by persons standing where 
the three witnesses say they were standing. The evidence becomes somewhat 
material in view of the fact that four bullet wounds were found upon the bodies 
inside. I think there is a good deal of force in Mr. Murphy's statement that 
the fact of these men saying they did not hear the shots is calculated to raise 
the credibility of their testimony in the estimation of the jury ; because if they 
were concocting a story— this is the argument of the Crown, not mine— no- 
thing would have prevented them saying "we heard shots'' when shots were 
fired. Their statement that they heard no shots has, as Mr. Murphy states, a 
great deal of force, and indicates a desire not to exaggerate or tell what is not 
true. Then comes evidence of considerable importance. I don't know whether it 
has so occurred to you, but I deem it my duty to call your attention to 
the evidence of Mary Joyce. It will be for you to say whether the evidence 
of Mary Joyce is not of great importance. You saw that girl on the 
table. You heard her give her testimony. If she was in the conspiracy 
you would probably say she would have been made to say a deal more than 
she did say. All she says is that a knock came to the door, her father got 
up, called her brother, her uncle came in, and that they all went out 
together, and were a long time away. Where were they ? 
He says they were looking on at what they had described. What 
brought Anthony Joyce there that night, if that dog had not awoke him, and 
if he had not seen the six men, and why did he then call his brother and 
nephew and leave the place ? Now that was the testimony as far as the 
Crown relies on, of the Joyces. Then came the evidence of a man, no doubt 
tainted, as an approver, Anthony Philbin. Philbin, truly or falsely, makes 
himself out less culpable than the others whom he says were engaged in the 
transaction, because his account is, that he was asked by his brother-in-law, 
Tom Casey, some where or other, to meet " the boys," and of 
course it would be idle for us to say we do not know what that 
meant. He says he did not know what was up, but we may reasonably 
assume that it was for no good purpose. He described how six of them Avent 
to Casey's house ; how four more joined them there, and how they finally 



19 

same to the house of the murdered family. He states that as soon as lie 
heard the door broken in, and a shot, he ran away. His suggestion is that 
he meant mischief, but not murder. Gentlemen, you cannot act upon the 
testimony of an informer or informers unless it be corroborated in some 
material matters affecting the prisoner, by independent testimony. If you 
believe the testimony of Anthony Joyce, his brother and nephew, "it is more 
than corroboration. Philbin says he heard screams, got frightened, and 
went away, and when going away he heard another shot. The next witness 
was also an approver, Thomas Casey, and is brother-in-law to Philbin. He 
describes the transaction substantially in the same way. But says that he 
remained there until the murder was "over, and until some of them had come 
out of the house. He said that the screams were loud; that he heard many 
shots, and that he ran away when the men were coming out. This was the 
man who gave that remarkable piece of testimony. He was asked why he 
brought Philbin there, and he says, " By the orders 1 got ; " and in answer 
to a juror he says, " I got the orders from Patrick Casey (the prisoner), and 
he was one of those who broke in the door." Singular to state, according to 
this testimony two men secretly joined the party on the way. It is for your 
. consideration to say whether that evidence hears upon the evidence of the 
Joyces or not. The next witness is Constable Finn. 1 confess that in con- 
sidering the circumstance of the pair of trousers being fouud with a few specks 
of blood on it in the prisoner's house (that is, if I were a juryman) I would 
place very little reliance on it. However, it will be for you, gentlemen, to 
say what weight you will attach to that evidence. Then came Constable 
Bryan, whom I called up again to-day to ask a question that has been much 
pressing on my mind. The prisoner was arrested, and so was Thomas ( 'ase\ 
on the same day. They were arrested at a distance from each other, and the 
constable says that when he had the prisoner in his custody, without there 
being any communication between the prisoner and Casey, that the prisoner 
put this extraordinary question to the constable, " Is Anthony Philbin being 
arrested?" The constable had never heard the name of Philbin, and he did 
not understand what the prisoner meant. What suggested to the mind of the 
prisoner that Anthony Philbin could possibly he arrested? The Crown ask 
you to come to the conclusion that he knew Anthony Philbin was 
one of the party that night. Now, supposing there was an 
opportunity for Tom Casey, Philbin's brother-in-law, to have communication 
with the prisoner, that is, supposing Casey was at the murder, and also 
Philbin, and the Joyce's swear they were there, why would he communicate 
to the prisoner at the bar any thing about Philbin .or himself? * * * 
But, I repeat, whatever horror you may entertain of that crime, whatever 
desire you may have that the guilty perpetrators of it should be brought to 
justice, recollect that the law requires no victim. The question for you 
is, has the guilt of the prisoner been established upon testimony which 
satisties your consciences and judgment of his guilt ? If you are of that 
opinion, you may be regardless of all consequences, and a true verdict give 
according to the evidence. If you have a doubt, you will be entitled to give 
the benelit of it to the prisoner. But, gentlemen, the doubt must be the 
doubt of hrm, rational, reasonable men — no crochet, no chimera, no cowardice. 
I cannot believe you would be capable of such a state of mind as I have sug- 
gested, I have no doubt you will do your duty as becomes highly eminent 
citizens of this great city — that you will discharge your duty between the 
prisoner and the country, faithfully, calmly, impartially, regardless of conse- 
quences. And may God direct you to a right conclusion. 

The jury then, at two minutes past twelve o'clock, retired to consider 
their verdict. They had been absent only eight minutes, and returned to 
court at ten minutes past twelve. The prisoner was brought back to the 
dock, and the learned judge was sent for. After about twenty minutes his 
lordship returned to the bench. The foreman, amidst excitement in court, 
handed down the issue paper. The prisoner stood up against the bar of the dock. 



20 

The Clerk of the Crown— Gentlemen, have you agreed to your verdict ? 

The Foreman- -We have. 

The Clerk of the Crown— You say, gentlemen, that the prisoner, Patrick 
Joyce, is guilty ? 

The Foreman — We do. 

The prisoner received the announcement with manifest callousness. He 
merely brushed his right hand along the bar of the dock and looked upwards 
to the jury in a listless manner. 

The Clerk of the Crown, in formal language, told him of the verdict of 
his country, and inquired : What have you now to say why judgment of death 
and execution should not be awarded against you, according to law ? 

The prisoner replied " Not guilty," raised his left hand, and for a 
moment pressed his cheek against it ; but almost immediately relapsed into 
complete self-possession. 

The prisoner was then sentenced to be executed in Galway jail on the 15th 
December. 

The Crown then formally entered nolle prosequi against the two ap- 
provers, Philbin and Thomas Casey. 

TRIAL OF PATRICK CASEY. 



After an interval, 

Patrick Casey, a middle-aged man, who lived about a quarter of a mile 
from the last prisoner, was put forward and indicted for the wilful murder, 
on the 18th August, 1882, of Bridget Joyce, wife of John Joyce, whose mur- 
der was the subject of the previous investigation. 

The accused pleaded " not guilty," and was defended by the same 
counsel as in the previous case. 

The following jury was sworn : — 

William Wardropp, Simmonscourt ; Henry T. Farrell, Merrion- square ; 
Charles Sexton, Dawson-street ; George Phenix, Temple-road, Rathmines ; 
William Harrison, Monkstown ; Samuel S. Waterhouse, Dame-street ; Chas. 
Bewley Pirn, Dame-street (affirmed); James F. Roberts, Leeson-park 
(affirmed) ; Henry Watson, Bachelor's-walk ; Nicholas Hammond, Monks- 
town ; Philip S. Barrington, Bray (affirmed) ; Graves C. Armstrong, Monks- 
town. 

The Attorney-General re-stated to the jury the case for the Crown. 

The witnesses were then examined in the same order as in the preceding 
case. Mr. Ryan, C.E., re-produced and re-explained the map of the district ; 
John Collins, who first discovered the family murdered, repeated his evi- 
dence ; Constable Johnson produced the bullets found by him in the house, 
and described the appearance of the victims in greater detail, and was not 
cross-examined. Anthony Joyce described how his dogs aroused him, and he 
went out and saw the party of six men, whom he followed to his brother 
John's house, and with his brother and nephew from thence to Michael 
Casey's house, out of which came the prisoner, Patrick Casey, of Derry, and 
three others. They then traced the ten men to Joyce's house. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Malley — When he saw the six men first he 
thought they were going to his brother's house, and that was why he followed 
them. Shortly after the ten men left Michael Casey's house to go towards 
Joyce's, he and his brother and nephew were not far behind them. He 
could hear the noise of tongues as if they were talking. Three tenants live 
between witness and the prisoner's house. Pat Joyce, who was convicted in 
the previous case, was one of those tenants. 

To Mr. Justice Barry — It was about breakfast hour on the 18th of 
August that he heard the Joyces had been murdered. 

Re-examined by Mr. Murphy — He then went and saw the murdered 
family, and returned to the house of his brother John, where there was a 
conversation about the murder in presence of John's daughter. 



21 

Mr. Murphy proposed to ask what was said, but Mr. Malley objected, and 
his lordship did not allow the evidence. 

The court, at the conclusion of the witness's evidence adjourned till ten 
o'clock this morning. 



FOURTH DAY. 



(Abridged from "Freeman" of November 17). 
FURTHER DISCLOSURES. 



Yesterday, shortly after ten o'clock, the trial of Patrick Casey, for the 
wilful murder, on the morning of the 18th August, of Bridget Joyce, wife of 
John Joyce, of Maamtrasna, was resumed. 

One of the informers gave very important evidence, which was novel in 
almost its entirety. Before his examination an incident occurred in which he 
was concerned. After he was called the learned judge retired from the bench 
for a few moments. The witness stood upon the steps of the witness table 
near the dock, and the eyes of the prisoner and of the witness met. The 
prisoner shook his head, and the witness thereupon retired to a seat under the 
galleries, followed by the prisoner's eyes. The informer in his evidence dis- 
closed the names of two persons not in custody, who, he said, were the authors 
of the expedition. 

Constable Johnson was permitted by Ihe Court to be recalled by the 
Attorney-General, in reply to whom he stated that on the night of the murder 
of the Joyces he was out on patrol about two miles from the scene of the 
murder. He produced certain bullets which he had found in the house of 
the murdered family. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Malley — I was patrolling in the direction of 
Finney, which is separated from the scene of the murder by a mountain. I 
was on the Clonbur side of Finney, which is the side most remote from the 
Joyces' house. 

John Joyce, of Derry, brother of Anthony Joyce, who was examined on 
the previous evening, deposed to being aroused on the night of the 17th August 
by Anthony, who lived a short distance from him, and to their going out, with 
witness's son, to see the six men whom Anthony had observed on the road. He 
witnessed the six men going into Michael Casey's house, which is some distance 
beyond his own house. When ten men came out of Michael Casey's house, 
and came round by the back of that house into a boreen, witness and his son 
and brother were under a bush behind Michael Casey's house. Witness 
named the ten men who came out of Michael Casey's house. The prisoner 
Patrick Casey was one of those men. He had known the ten men a long time, 
and the prisoner he had known since he (the prisoner) was a little boy. Wit- 
ness and his companions remained at the bush until they saw at what side the 
ten men would turn. The men passed into a boreen and kept along it until 
they went as far as the schoolhouse. Witness and his companions followed 
them through the boreen. When the ten men reached the schoolhouse they 
turned to the left and went down into a hollow, making straight to Maamtrasna. 
Witness still followed. The ten men crossed the river Strangalone and made 
up the mountain towards the house of John Joyce. The ten men kept to the 
right. Witness and his companions struck up die mountain after them, keep- 
ing some distance to their left. Witness and his son and Anthony went to a 
corner of the yard and concealed themselves behind a little bush. [The plans 
were exhibited, and showed that the yard is surrounded by a low wall. In 
the centre of the yard, and in front of the dwellinghouse, there is a cowhouse. 
The bush is inside the wall, in the corner farthest from the boreen, which ran 
alongside one gable of the dwellinghouse. A stile in the wall at the end of 
which stands the little bush gives an opening from that side into the yard. 
The line of vision lies obliquely from the bush to the door of the dwelling- 



22 s 

house, and past the side of the cowhouse, so closely that if the cowhouse were 
a little nearer the bush it would have obscured the witness's view of the 
dwellinghouse door.] Witness and his companions saw the ten men go into 
the yard. They made a drive at the door. Some went into the house and 
some remained outside. Witness heard strong voices calling and screeching 
from the house. 

Cross-examined — Witness said he certainly was asleep wh en Anthony came 
to the door, and was awakened by Anthony calling from outside. He heard 
Anthony calling plainly. Without waiting to dress himself he let Anthony 
in ; he then called up his. son Patrick, put on his trousers, waistcoat, and hat, 
and dressed merely in that manner went out with his son Patrick, and 
Anthony, who was also without his coat. Witness was a short distance in 
advance of the ten men when the latter came out of Michael Casey's house. 
He was a very short distance from them, and saw them clearly, but he could 
not state who among the ten left Casey's bouse first or last. When witness 
and his companions and the party of ten men were going up the hill from the 
river to John Joyce's house the party could have seen witness had there not 
been a little hillock around which witness and his son and Anthony went. 
The ten men were at Joyce's house before witness. There was a stile near 
the yard — a pretty high stile — and he could see the men crossing it, but he 
could not sa} r which of the ten went over the stile first ; they went up one 
after the other. 

Mr Justice Barr}- — You say you were before the ten men who left 
Michael Casey's house. What, then, prevented the ten men seeing you when 
they came out of Casey's house. 

Witness — The shade of the wall and the bush. 

A Juror, with a view to ascertain if witness could judge of distance, asked 
him if he had ever seen a milestone ? 

Witness — There is no such thing near me (laughter). 

Mr. M alley — Is there not a fine country road to Maamtrasna ? 

Witness — There is. 

Mr. Murphy— And what does that prove ? 

Mr. Malley — I will tell you what it proves by and by. 

Patrick Joyce, son of last witness, deposed that his mother and his sister 
Mary and another sister were in the house when bis uncle Anthony came. 
He had a com r ersation with his uncle Anthony and his father before they left 
the house. The bush at which they stood to watch the ten men coming out 
of Michael Casey's house was at the back of the house, and at the corner of the 
boreen. While he was standing behind this bush the ten men passed in front and 
quite close to them into the boreen. They passed so close that be was able to 
know all the men except one. Patrick Casey, the prisoner, was in the party. 
Casey lives in the house next to witness, and witness had known him all his 
life. As the ten men passed into the boreen they were talking, but witness 
could not understand a word they said. The ten men passed along the 
back of Thomas Joyce's house. 

Cross-examined — We did not leave the bush until the ten men had gone 
so far that we thought they could not see us. We then followed them, but 
whenever we came too close to them Ave stood to allow them to go on a little. 
We never let them out of sight. We saw no one else join those ten men 
along the road ; I do not believe any other men could have joined them with- 
out my seeing them. 

Could any man have left the party along the road before they reached 
Joyce's house ? The ten we saw first were the ten we saw go into the yard 
*u ^°* ce f honse. The place at which we Avere nearest to the ten men Avas the 
bush at Casey's house : the place we AVere next nearest, Avas the bush at John 
Joyce's house. 

Mary Joyce, sister of last Avitness, deposed to her father, brother, and 
uncle Anthony, leaving the house, and to their return before daybreak. 



23 

Anthony Philbin, one of the approvers, deposed that on the evening 
before the murder he met his brother-in-law, Tom Casey, of Glensaui. Casev 
asked him to accompany him to Derry, and he did so. On the way they met 
Patrick Joyce and his son Tom and Myles Joyce, who had come out of the 
fields to them. They were then five in number. A short time afterwards 
Martin Joyce joined them, having come out of another field. The six of them 
then went towards Michael Casey's house. Witness turned into Casey's 
yard and alloAved the other five to go into the house. They remained in the 
house ten or twelve minutes ; and when witness, after they came out, rejoined 
the party on the road, under Casey's house, it numbered nine men. The 
additional four men were— Patrick Joyce, who Mas tried yesterday; Patrick 
Casey, the present prisoner ; Michael Casey, the owner of the house — an old 
man, and John Casey. Witness was the hindmost man of the party, and 
went wherever the others went. He did not know the country ; he was not 
there previously for sixteen years, when he attended a burial. He did not 
notice any others join the party before they reached the house of John Joyce ; 
he did not then know to whom the house belonged. Some of the party were 
talking as they went along towards Joyce's house, but he had not much dis- 
course with them. He saw Patrick Joyce (who was convicted yesterday), 
Patrick Casey (the prisoner), and Myles Joyce going up to John Joyce's 
house, run against it, and shove it in, and then enter the house. He heard 
screeches and a shot. He was only four or five yards away. There were 
some men between him and the door when it was being broken in, and they 
moved up the yard, and when the shot was fired there was no one between 
him and the door. 

To a Juror witness .said after the shot he ran home as fast as he could 
to Cappaduff. It was about five or six miles from Maamtrasna, and he was 
home before daybreak. He lived in the centre of the village of Cappaduff. 

Witness was cross-examined by Mr. Malley as to his having left his house 
at nightfall on the night of the murder before he met his brother-in-law. He 
explained that a road runs from the village to his land, and that each evening 
the neighbours' cows trespass upon his lands, and that was why he went out. 
In his district the cows come home every evening in summer, because there is 
not sufficient grazing on the mountains for the cows to be left out at night. 
He could not tell which of the men came first out of Michael Casey's house, 
nor did he see anything particular about the place, because he was not looking 
about him. The nine men were getting into a field ; when he rejoined them 
at John Joyce's house, the men went across the style as fast as they could. 
The man before me was taking his legs over the top of the stile as witness 
was beginning to ascend it. The door was open after the men entered the 
house, but he could not see into the house to know what they were doing, the 
place was so dark. While he remained in the yard none of the party went 
into the house except the three he had mentioned. 

To a Juror, witness said that on his return home he did not pass Michael 
Casey's house He did not know what route he took. He believed he 
crossed a stream, He did not want to go near any house or any person. His 
desire was to get home as fast as he could. When he joined the party he did 
not know what they were "on'' for. 

Thomas Casey (the second approver), brother-in-law of Philbin, the first 
approver, and residing at Glensaui, was next examined. He was repeatedly 
directed by the Attorney-General to keep his eyes raised to the jury, and 
jurors several times requested him to speak louder. He had known the 
prisoner, he said, for 15 years. 

The Attorney-General— Immediately before the murder did the prisoner 
give you any instructions ? He did. 

Tell the jury what the prisoner said to you ? The night before the 
murder 

Mr. Malley objected to the evidence but the objection was overruled. 



24 

Witness— On the night before the murder he told me to go towards 
Derry. He told me I had to go there, and to bring Anthony Philbin 
with me. 

To bring him where ? He told me to bring him along with me. 

I know ; but where were you to bring Philbin to ? To go towards 
Derry to meet the rest of them. He didn't tell me exactly where to go to 
but that I had to go, and that I would see them. 

Would see who — tell the jury the exact words the prisoner used ? That 
is all he told me, that I had to go. 

Who did he mean by " them'' — that you would see " them?" He did 
not mention their names. 

What did you understand him to mean ? I understood him to mean 
that I should go as far as Michael Casey's house. 

A Juror — You have repeated two or three times that you had to go. 
Were you compelled to go ? 

Witness — Well, it seemed so from the way he told me to go. 

To the Attorney-General — I was working in the bog when the prisoner 
came to me and told me I had to go. It was in the evening. He seemed to 
have come from his own home at Derry to me. I do not believe I ever had 
seen John Joyce before the murder, but I heard of him before it. 

Had you any conversation with the prisoner about John Joyce before 
that night ? We were talking about him at the fair of Toormakeady — it was 
held on SS. Peter and Paul's day (June 29th). 

What did the prisoner say to you about him ? He said he believed that 
there was something going to be done to him. He did not mention what it 
was. He did not seem to know. 

Did he say why anything was to be done to him ? He did not. 

Mr. Justice Barry— The prisoner, you say, did not appear to know what 
it was ? 

Witness — I cannot say about that. 

The Attorney-General — Did you ask the prisoner what was to>e done 
to John Joyce ? 

Witness — I did not. 

Did you see the prisoner again after that ? I saw him again at Mass, 
and was talking to him. But the conversation was not about that affair— the 
murder of John Joyce affair. 

A Juror— What word was that which the witness has used ? 

The Attorney-General and the learned judge concurred in saying that 
they thought the expression " the murder of' John Joyce affair" was only a 
descriptive expression by the witness. 

The witness, in reply to further questions from the Attorney-General, 
said that he did not " witness" that he met the prisoner except at Mass. 
When he started from Oappaduff on the evening of the murder he cut through 
the mountains and came to Philbin's house. 

Did you tell Philbin what Casey had told you ? I told him that I had 
been told he had to come with me. I do not think I mentioned Casey's name 
to him. 

Tell the jury what words you used to Philbin. I told Philbin that I had 
been sent that direction. 

Mr. Justice Barry- Did you say you and Philbin had to go ? 

Witness— Yes, I said we had to go. 

A Juror— Was Philbin expecting you before you went to him ? I do 
not know about that. 

The Attorney- General— When you gave Philbin the message did vou 
both start to go towards Derry ? 

Witness— Yes, we took the shortest route we could towards Derry. 

Did you meet with any other men ? Yes. When we got close to Derrv 
we met the three Joyces. Tiiey were close to the house— Patrick Joyce, 
lorn Joyce, and Myles Joyce. 



25 

Did they join yon. or von join them ? We joined them, and we all 
went on together. Martin Joyce immediately after came to ns from out of a 
garden. He joined onr party also. We went on together towards Michael 
Casey's house at Derry. 

[The Attorney-General here directed the witness to remove his eyes 
from him, and to look upon the jury.] 

On further examination, the witness said the most of the party went 
into Michael Casey's house. The Joyces all went in. He himself stood in 
the doorway. 

Did any of yon stay outside ? I do not know whether Philbin stayed 
outside or went in. Pat Casey (the prisoner at the bar), and Michael Casey, 
and Tom Casey were at this honsc when we arrived. 

Were they all dressed in the house ? They were sitting and standing 
about the house. I do not remember if the man of the house, Michael Casey, 
was dressed. The prisoner said nothing to me in the house. They may- 
have had some conversation among themselves, but I did not overhear it, 
because I went outside the door. I cannot exactly bring to recollection how 
long the party remained in the house. They Avere more than a few minutes. 
It was late at night ; I think it was near midnight, but I cannot say what 
time it was. The whole party came out together. The prisoner was in the 
party. He was my companion along the way, but we did not say much to 
each other. I cannot give an account now of what we said. I know that 
part of the country ; I went to it at different times before, but it was not at 
night. After we left the Caseys' house we kept on the boreen, I cannot tell 
for how far we kept upon it. At times we went through fields. [The 
witness was directed to speak louder.] In the end the entire party of ten 
men came to John Joyce's house at Maimtrasna. We were joined some 
time before we reached John Joyce's house by two additional men — Patrick 
Kelly and Michael Nee. The latter I knew well. He was a pedlar at one 
time, and two years before this I got a revolver from him to keep, which I 
returned to him shortly afterwards. I did not know Kelly. I have not seen 
either Kelly or Nee since the night of the murder. 

To the Jury— It was a short time before we crossed the river that these 
two additional men joined us. They came to us over a wall from a field, and 
seemed to me to have been waiting for us. 

The Attorney-General — Did they appear to be known to any of the men 
in the party ? 

Witness — Nee came and spoke to me directly after he joined us. Both 
Nee and Kelly spoke to the prisoner and Pat Joyce. Nee told me that the 
second man was Patrick Kelly. The two men continued with us, and were 
the first that went into the yard of John Joyce's house. They went in first 
along with the three whom I afterwards saw at the door. [The witness was 
again directed to speak louder]. 

Who were the three? Patrick Joyce, Myles Joyce, and Patrick Casey 
(the prisoner), and Patrick Kelly, and Michael Nee. The five went to the 
door. They pushed it in. I was standing at the gable end of the cowhouse, 
or barn, at the time. I cannot say if the five men went into the house, 
because it was dark ; but after the door was pushed in I did not see the five 
men, and I knew the rest were standing about the yard. Immediately after 
they went in I heard a few words of talk, then a shout, and then a shot. I 
was not able to distinguish what was said. There were a good many reports 
of shots in the house. I remained in the yard until I noticed some of the 
men coming out, and I then made off. 

Who did you see come out ? I cannot say who came out first. I cannot 
say if the five came out. I noticed some men in the door coming out, 
and then I made off towards my own house at Glensaul. I got home about 
daylight. I saw a party coming after me, but I always kept my distance. 
They were not pursuing me. 



26 

The Attorney-General proposed to ask what communication Nee made to 
witness when he joined the party, hut his lordship did not think the question 
could he put. 

Cross-examined hy Mr. Stritch — In consequence of the darkness I could 
not see whether the prisoner went into the house. I took no notice of any 
stile, and I jumped' into the yard from the wall beside the horeen (which 
would be the wall farthest from the bush). 

Did you or did you not know that you were going to do anything wrong to 
John Joj^ce that night? I did not know what they were going to do to him. 

Had you any suspicion ? Well, I wont say anything about that, because 
I do not know. 

Do you expect the jury to believe that ? I cannot help that. Can you 
make me tell the truth 

Mr. Stritch — I don't expect I can. 

Witness — And then make me eat it. Do you want me to compose it all 
over again and to tell a lie. 

And if you had known it was to kill Joyce would you have given him 
warning ? Indeed I would not. 

Would you have told the police ? I would not. I did not want to 
interfere. 

You kept the secret locked up in your breast from the 29th June until the 
present ? I did not know anything that was going to take place. I was 
speaking with Philbin while weAvere in custody. I first heard last week that 
he would give evidence for the Crown. I did not hear that his life would be 
saved on that account — that was in the honour of the CroAvn to do it. 

Did that influence you to give evidence also to save your life? I do not 
know whether it will be done or not. 

Would you give the information for the purpose of saving your neck? 
That is not a fair question (laughter). 

The Attorney-General rebuked any spirit of levity being shown in so 
serious a case. 

The Witness — If you were dragged into a " hole of water " by two or three 
men maybe you would sooner be out of it than stay there, 

Mr. Stritch — Is it to save your life that } r ou are giving this evidence ? I 
would like to save my life, and so would everybody. 

Answer me '' Yes" or " No ?" I won't answer you. 

Have you told us now about the other two men ? Why wouldn't I tell 
about Kelly and Nee, because I knew they were the authors of it (excite- 
ment in court). 

The Attorney-General — Now we have got it out. There is the root of the 
confederacy. 

Mr. Stritch (to witness) — How do you know that ? 

Witness — By the way Nee was talking. 

To the Attorney-General— Kelly was a stranger in that district. I don't 
recollect seeing him before that night, 

To Mr. Stritch— I knew he was not a policeman when I saw him. 

Sub-Inspector Philips, Mr. Gardiner, R.M., and Dr. Ingham then gave 
formal evidence. 

Mr. O'Malley opened the defence. 

Mary Casey, a young woman, cousin of the prisoner, living at Shanvally- 
cahill, a quarter of a mile from the prisoner's residence, deposed (in Irish), 
in reply to Mr. Stritch, that she remembered the day before the murder of 
the Joyces. She went on the morning of that day to the prisoner's house. 
His mother and the prisoner and herself were the only occupants of the 
house. The prisoner had been making a barn during the day, and when he 
came in at evening complained of a pain in his stomach. She and his mother 
sat up all night warming milk for him. From the time Patrick Catey 
entered the house in the evening he*did not leave it until breakfast time next 
morning. 



27 

Cross-examined by the Attorney-General — She earned her livelihood by 
her day's pay, and she went to the prisoner's house on the day in question to 
spin wool for an obligation. She had worked there every day since for half 
her time. She was surprised when she heard of Patrick Casey's arrest. 

Miss Julia Casey, mother of the prisoner, examined through the inter- 
preter, corroborated the testimony of last witness. She added that for a week 
before the murder the prisoner did not leave the house at night. She heard 
of the murder about the middle of the day after it occurred. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Murphy — She said her son was well of the pain 
by daylight on the morning after the murder, and went out to clump turf as 
usual, and came home to breakfast, lie got better about breakfast time. 
Mr. Murphy — I thought she said he went out before breakfast time ? 
The Interpreter — She says now it was after breakfast. 
Mr. Murphy (to interpreter) — Did you interpret her evidence correctly 
when vou said she first stated he went out to work and came bad; to break- 
fast ? 

Interpreter — I did. 

The witness added that the persons at work with her son on the day of the 
murder and the day after were John Casey, Matthias Casey, John Joyce, and 
the boy. Witness heard of the murder from people who were going to the 
corps' house — the house where the Joyces were murdered. 

Mr. Ryan was re-called by Mr. Stritch, and stated that the bush at 
John Joyce's house was ~>7 feet from the dwcllinghouse door. 
Mr. Stritch addressed the court for the prisoner. 
Mr. Murphy, Q.C., replied for the Crown. 

At the close of the learned counsel's address there was applause in 
court. 

Mr. Justice Barry suggested, it being then so late (a quarter to six) 
that the case could not close to-night. It would be better, for reasons which he 
might not particularise, that they should leave over till next day the conclu- 
sion of the case. 

The jury concurred, and at their suggestion the Court decided to resume 
at ten o'clock this morning. 



FIFTH DAY. 
CONVICTION AND SENTENCE OF PATRICK CASEY. 



(Abridged from "Freeman" of November 18). 



Yesterday, shortly after ten o'clock, the trial of Patrick Casey (which 
commenced on Wednesday afternoon) for the murder of Bridget Joyce, wife 
of John Joyce, of Maamtrasna, on the 17th of August, was resumed. 

Mr. Justice Barry, on taking his scat on the bench, proceeded to address 
the jury. 

The jury retired to consider their verdict at twelve minutes past eleven 
o'clock. The learned judge thereupon retired from the bench, and the pri- 
soner was removed from the dock. At twenty-four minutes past eleven, after 
an absence of twelve minutes, the jury returned to their box. 

The prisoner was again brought into the dock, and he stood before th« 
bar without any emotion or excitement visible in the features of his face. 

The learned judge having been communicated with, came into court, after 
an interval of a few moments. 

The Foreman of the jury handed down the isstie paper, and in reply to 
the Clerk of the Crown, stated that they had agreed to their verdict, and 
that that verdict was 

GUILTY. 

The prisoner stood looking at the bench without a tremor, as if his face 
had been petrified. After a few minutes he raised ftis eyes to the jury-box, 



28 

then looked around the court. His apparent stolidness seemed to indicate not 
so much indifference to his dreadful position as an ignorance of the character 
of the verdict of the jury. 

The Clerk of the Crown, in the language formally prescribed, informed 
him of the verdict of his country. 

The prisoner replied with a puzzled expression of face, " I do not under- 
stand a word you are saying," and looked around the court as if for the in- 
terpreter. 

The Clerk of the Crown (continuing the formal address) asked if he had 
anything to say why sentence of death and execution should not be awarded 
against him, 

The Prisoner — I have to say that I had nothing at all to do with it. 

The Court, thinking he was requesting the services of the interpreter 
directed the interpreter to communicate to him the fact that the Court now 
called upon him to say why sentence of death should not be passed upon 
him. 

The Interpreter went to the dock and commenced to make the com- 
munication in English, but the prisoner, being in an attitude of the greatest 
attention, requested him to speak in Irish. 

The Interpreter did so, and the prisoner seemed dumbfounded by the 
communication, but after a moment or two responded in Irish. 

The Interpreter — He says, my lord, " I have nothing to say ; but I will 
say this, whatever happens to me, that I had no hand in it." 
[The folloAving address of the judge, in passing sentence, was delivered in 

presence of the jurors who were waiting to try Myles Joyce, the third 

prisoner, whose trial commenced within a few minutes after this 

address : — ] 

Mr. Justice Barry, in passing sentence, said — 

Patrick Casey, after a most patient trial, you have been convicted by a 
jury of your fellow-countrymen of the crime of murder. The murder 
charged against you, in the indictment of which you have been convicted, 
is the murder of Bridget Joyce. But the evidence has established clearly 
and conclusively, and so as not to leave a doubt of your guilt upon the 
mind of any sane person who has heard or read that evidence, that you 
not only murdered Bridget Joyce, but four other persons on that one 
occasion. Enormous as the crime is, its enormity seems to sink into in- 
significance before the singular mystery which surrounds it. It appears 
upon the evidence, clearly and distinctly, that the dreadful deed was com- 
mitted in pursuance of orders issued by some unseen or unknown tribunal 
or man. You were the person who conveyed the orders to one person, 
Thomas Casey. You told him he should go to Deny on the particular 
night. You told him he should bring his brother-in-law, Anthony Philbin, 
with him. In obedience to the orders so communicated to him Thomas 
Casey summoned his brother-in-law, Anthony Philbin, simply telling 
him he should go. Strange to relate, in conveying those orders, from 
whomsoever they originally emanated, to his own brother-in-law (Anthony 
Philbin), Thomas Casey never mentioned the name of the person who 
conveyed those orders to him. In pursuance of those orders, Thomas 
Casey and Anthony Philbin attended on that occasion. Strange to relate 
— dreadful to relate — the family which was to be murdered that night Avas 
absolutely unknown to Anthony Philbin. He says he did not knoAV, and 
probably he did not knoAV, Avhat deed was to be Avorked upon the family ; 
but that, in that remote, once peaceful district, there should exist such a 
state of things as this — that two men receiA r e orders (they do not inquire 
from whom, they are not told from whom) to attend on the particular 
night, and that they did attend there — whether voluntarily or reluctantly 
does not matter much — is testified by the eye Avitnesses and participators of 
the deed of carnage Avhich has shocked civilised humanity. Such Avas the 
deed ; such Avere the circumstances under Avhich you committed the deed. 



29 

As I have said on a recent occasion, vile as a criminal may be, I discharge 
with pain the duty of pronouncing the doom of death against my fellow- 
man. [His lordship exhibited considerable emotion.] But if ever there 
was a case in which a man's repugnance ought to be overcome, or could 
be overcome, if ever there was a case in which combined sense of horror 
at the crime and necessity of duty ought steel a man's nerves against 
emotion or distress, that case is the present. I shall add no words to 
attempt to make you feel conscious of the position in which you stand. You 
have no mercy to expect in this world. I ask you to turn to that God 
whose dictates and precepts you have so dreadfully disobeyed. It only 
remains for me now to pronounce upon you that dreadful sentence which it 
is my duty to pronounce. [Assuming the black cap, the learned judge pro- 
nounced, in the usual formal language, that the prisoner be hung at Galway 
Jail on the 15th December next ] 

The condemned man stood motionless in the dock for a little while, then 
took his cap from the seat beside him and beckoned the interpreter to come 
near. He whispered to the interpreter, who informed the court that the pri- 
soner had asked " What day ?" The unfortunate man was informed the 
loth December, and he, looking upwards, with a most reverent and touching 
aspect, exclaimed, in the Irish language, "I have expectation of heaven." 
He then followed the warder to the cells beneath the court. 



TRIAL OF MYLES JOYCE. 

The third prisoner, Myles Joyce, was, before a quarter of an hour 
had elapsed, brought into the dock to stand his trial for complicity in the 
murder. The prisoner is older than either of the previous men who have 
been tried. He was dressed in older garments, but, unlike them, he did 
not appear to have the slightest knowledge of the language in which his trial 
is being conducted.' He sits in the dock like them, and like the young man 
Patrick Walsh, who was recently convicted of the murder of Constable 
Kavanagh, with his head leaning upon his arms, which he reels upon the bar 
of the dock. 

The jury which served in the preceding case was discharged by the 
learned judge. 

The long panel was called over on fines of £20. 

Mr. Malley, Q.C., then rose and said— My lord, it becomes my imperative 
duty to apply to your lordship that the trial of the prisoner who now stands 
at the bar be postponed, under the circumstances which I am about to men- 
tion to your lordship. I move, upon the affidavit of Mr. Henry Concannon, 
solicitor for the prisoner, who says : — 

" I, Henry Concannon, make oath and say that I am the solicitor acting 
for the defence of the traversers yet on trial for the murder of the Joyce 
family at Maamtrasna on the 18th August last. That from its awful nature 
the crime absorbed the attention of the public and excited an universal indig- 
nation and a fierce desire to bring the perpetrators to speedy punishment. 
That the case has since the opening of the present Commission, on the 25th 
day of October last, been kept prominently before the public, and the horrible 
details of the crime have been frequently published before the trials in the 
newspapers circulating among the jurors of the city and county of Dublin, by 
whom the cases are to be tried. That on the 1st day of November the accused 
were called on to plead, and the hearing of the trial was then fixed for Mon- 
day, the 13th inst. That immediately before the trial two of the traversers 
offered to give evidence to criminate the other traversers, and disclosed details 
which I, as traverser's solicitor, was wholly unacquainted with, and which 
took their counsel completely by surprise. That the necessary result of the 
foregoing matter has been to create, develop, and sustain a fierce public in- 
dignation, and to direct all its force against the accused. That on the verdict 
being made public in the case of Patrick Joyce, the comments thereon in the 



80 

public Press of this city are calculated to render an impartial unprejudiced 
trial of the cause impossible for some time to come." 

I need not mention to your lordship that it is a proud boast of this country 
that every subject of the realm when called upon to stand his trial for his life, 
is entitled as of right and by sanction of the Constitution under which we 
live, to the fairest and most impartial trial. But if this wretched Irish-speak- 
ing creature, who has never had the advantage of education, and who will be 
unable to understand the language in which his accusers will give their evi- 
dence, or the language in which the counsel against him will arraign him or 
your lordship address the jury — if the trial of this wretched creature, be 
brought on now under the circumstances which are referred to in this affi- 
davit, who can say that the proud boast of our Constitution will be maintained 
in this instance ? My lord, illiterate the prisoner is and incapable of instruct- 
ing us, and I cannot but say that I feel embarrased to the extremest extent. 
There have been two trials. Your lordship has heard the evidence and 
noted it attentively, and your lordship has just recapitulated that evidence on 
the second occasion, and shown the jury that it was almost the same as in the 
first. Your lordship, in terms which could not but be approved by every per- 
son who heard them, sentenced the last prisoner to death, and in doing so your 
lordship necessarily referred to the fact that the evidence laid against the 
prisoner was cogent and conclusive. This, the third man, is about to be put 
upon his trial in the presence of this court, and perhaps to be tried by jurors 
who were sitting in this court when the two former trials took place, who 
heard all the evidence, and who listened to the observations of your lordship. 
A jury is about to be empannelled to give a verdict in this case according to 
the evidence which lias been twice repeated, and which is a third time to be 
deposed to. It is a fearful responsibility for any counsel to undertake to stand 
up here, before this court, and before a jury empanelled under conditions I 
have desciibed, and to strive to distinguish, after what has fallen from your 
lordship's lips, the evidence which now may be adduced ; and to prove to a 
third jury that the prisoner who is arraigned for the same offence is clearly 
entitled to a verdict of not guilty. My lord, in a criminal case, when a counsel 
accepts the responsibility which is imposed upon him he cannot as in a civil 
case retire from it even if he would, and, my -lord, if your lordship will not grant 
the postponement which I humbly ask, it will be necessary for me immediately 
after the effects which were produced at these two trials, and ere these effects 
have been effaced, to perform my duty. I cannot say it is an agreeable duty — 
it will be necessary for me to stand up in this court, and to exercise to the best 
of my ability in the defence of this unfortunate man. I submit, my lord, that 
the circumstances deposed to in this affidavit are sufficient to show that a 
strong case has been made out why this man and his advisers should get some 
little time to prepare for a trial which as yet, I must say, has mystery about 
it. The evidence given by the two approvers goes to show, and I know not 
how it is, that there is some one who has given, as it was called, " orders." 
My lord, I know not to what extent 

The Attorney-General— My learned friend will pardon me, but I do not 
think it is open to him to comment in anticipation upon the evidence which 
will be given or to comment either upon the evidence which has been given in 
a past trial. 

Mr Malley — I am commenting upon this paragraph in the affidavit — 
" That immediately before the trial, two of the traversers offered to give evi- 
dence to criminate the other traversers, and disclosed details which I, as 
traversers' solicitor, wa3 wholly unacquainted with, and which took their 
counsel completely by surprise." Does not that open to me the right to refer 
to the evidence now in the recollection of your lordship. I am sorry that the 
Attorney- General should object to my referring to that which is in our im- 
mediate recollection. I only referred to it for the purpose of saying that if 
the mystery be explored it may throw additional light upon the case before 
your lordship. I intended saying no more when the Attorney- General inter- 



31 

posed. I am sure the Attorney-General will, with the fairness which has 
marked his conduct of these cases, admit that that is not too far to go. I sub- 
mit it is necessary for the justice, and certainly would be merciful, at least, to 
this poor man, that my application should be acceded to. 

The Attorney-General— My lord, it is my duty, on the part of the Crown, 
to oppose any such motion. We cannot doubt that the prisoners so far have 
received the fairest and most impartial trial ; that the evidence adduced was 
most carefully considered by the jury ; and, I shall take leave to say, put by 
the bench in a manner which made it perfectly transparent to the jury. So 
far as I myself and my learned colleagues in this case are concerned. I think 
I need only appeal to the bench for confirmation of the statement that the 
fairest way in which men could be put upon their trial, where a number of 
persons are concerned, is one by one, so as to individualise the evidence against 
each, and to prevent the evidence which might be given against all, but could 
not be given against one, being offered against all the accused. The other 
point relied on was comments in the public Press. I am glad to take this 
opportunity for saying that in my humble opinion — it is of course entitled to no 
particular weight— the conduct of the public Press has been perfectly exem- 
plary in this case. Nothing has been done to inflame public opinion ; nothing 
has been done — at least so far as has come under my notice — to prejudice the 
trial of the prisoner. I think the Press has set an example which, on this occa- 
sion, deserves the highest commendation. With reference to any comments 
upon myself. I, of course, say nothing. The last ground relied on is that the 
evidence in the last two trials must be given also in this case ; that that 
evidence has been matter of public consideration, and possibly has been 
weighed by jurors in court who will be called in this case. That is a ground 
which I submit cannot be entertained. My learned friend says it entitles him 
to say that no fair trial of the prisoner can be had for a considerable time. It 
is impossible to entertain a ground of that kind, because no length of the time 
which could be allowed to elapse would obliterate the evidence from the 
public mind. No matter at what distance of time from this the accused are 
separately put upon their trial, the same evidence must be given* The conduct 
of the jurors in the past gives your lordship and the public the greatest confi- 
dence in the jurors who will be called upon to try this case. I must say, 
further, it is not the case that the two prisoners who supplied information 
gave it before the trials commenced. One prisoner did so before the trial 
commenced, and as soon as the Crown was in possession of the fact, a note 
of the evidence was furnished to the other side. The other prisoner gave 
information while the trial was proceeding, and on the same day, and as 
rapidly as possible, information was given to the other side. No ground has 
been put forward for acceding to the motion of my learned friend. 

Mr. Murphy — My learned friend (Mr. Malley) says it is possible there 
may be some elucidation of this mysterious affair — namely, from whom 
the orders originated — if an adjournment be granted. Possibly there 
might ; but what assistance avouUI such an elucidation give to the 
defence of the prisoner now on trial. It is necessary that the 
investigation of a crime should follow as soon as possible after the event. 
We do not know what may take place with respect to any of those witnesses 
if the trial were postponed. We do not know what calamity might happen 
which would prevent these men coming forward and giving the evidence which 
they are ready to give now. There can be no reason given for the postpone- 
ment of this trial except that the account of a certain transaction which has 
been already investigated as to one person has been given in public court. 
That must occur in the cases of all persons where only one is put forward on 
trial at a time. We might have put forward three of the prisoners together, 
or any two, or any four of them. The Attorney-General considering that 
they might possibly be embarrassed by such a course, took the present much 
fairer course. A third prisoner has now been put upon his trial. If the 
evidence which has been heard, and which mil be heard again, is too cogent, 



32 

or too clear, or too irrefutable, that is not a reason, why this case should be 
postponed. On the contrary I submit it is a reason why the case should be at 
once investigated. 

Mr. Stritch — It is not on the ground of the evidence being too cogent we 
seek a postponement, but because of the difficulty we have in defending new 
prisoners on the same evidence before the same tribunal, when scarcely any 
person in court has not heard that evidence. There has been great excite- 
ment in court, comments have appeared in the public Press. We do not 
complain of these comments ; on the contrary, Mr. Malley and myself are 
prepared to endorse everything which has been said by the Attorne) r - 
General regarding the Pres3. But there is no doubt that all the newspapers 
have published detailed accounts of the shocking crime which occurred at 
Maamtrasna, and while these comments are fresh in the minds of the people, 
the difficulty of our defending the remaining prisoners are far above the in- 
convenience which might arise from an adjournment of the trial. We only 
seek a postponement for the purpose of securing a fair and better opportunity 
of defending the prisoner. The effect of elucidating the case might be to 
clear the prisoner or all of them. We wish to have for this prisoner a 
tribunal in which judgment shall not have been given against us already. 

Mr. Justice Barry — I should certainly be always very willing to accede to 
any application the object of wiiich was to secure that which it is my duty to 
secure to every man brought before me — a fair and impartial trial, and 
which, with the blessing of God, I shall, as long as I occupy the seat which I 
now occupy, endeavour to secure for every man arraigned before me. But I 
have also to consider the duty imposed upon me of maintaining the 
regularity of our procedure and the due course of the administration 
of the law. It would be introducing a very dangerous precedent indeed 
if I acceded to this application for postponement on grounds so vague and un- 
substantial as are put forward in the affidavit of Mr. Concannon. If any 
newspapers had been produced before me containing comments calculated to 
prejudice the fair trial of this case, whether the fair trial was to the prejudice 
of or in favour of the prisoner, I would know very well how to deal 
with the case as well as with the publishers of suoh comments. No 
such newspaper has been produced ; and I am asked in fact to postpone 
this case on the ground that newspapers were published which Mr. 
Stritch in his reply admits contained nothing of an objectionable 
character. As regards the surprise, that was the ground of an applica- 
tion made before, and which was disposed of by me. I might go much 
more into detail if I were sitting in chamber, and not in open court, as 
to the reasons for which I refuse this application ; but as that might 
involve more or less the discussion of matters which I do not care to be 
the person to introduce, I think it is better not to refer to them, I do 
not mean to convey that I have any opinions with regard to the case — 
I mean grounds of a legal character which I shmild address to the counsel 
engaged. I adopt the same rule as is followed in civil cases on appli- 
cations for new trials, simply to refuse the motion or grant th.e motion 
without any comment. Comment upon the matters alluded to in the 
affidavit of the prisoner might lead to consequences which I should de- 
plore, and consequently I best discharge my duty — best in every sense of 
the word — by simply saying I consider the grounds put forward insuf- 
ficient to warrant me in granting the postponement. 

The prisoner at the bar was then informed, through the interpreter, 
that a jury was about to be sworn to try him, and also that he had a 
right to challenge twenty, and as many more as he could show cause 
for. The prisoner listened attentively, but made no reply. 

The following gentlemen were ordered by the Crown to stand by : — * 

Daniel Toole, Henry street ; Edward Malone, Lucan ; Francis Caher, 
Mulhuddert ; Andrew Thompson, Ormond quay; Michael O'Reilly, Thomas 
street ; Thomas Kelly, Rathcoole ; James M'Donnell, Britain street ; 



Richard O'Mally, Santry ; Patrick Nowlan, Golden Bawn ; Patk. Gordon, 
Middle Abbey street ; Luke F. O'Reilly, Middle Abbey street ; Frederick 
Keightley, Westland row ; Wm. Pillar, Camden street ; Michael Hayden, 
George's street ; Joseph Fitzpatrick, Swords ; Hugh O'Donnell, Queen 
street ; John Carver, Earl street ; George Hickson, Kingstown ; D. 
Sherwin, Naul ; Michael Cahcr, Clonsilla ; Peter M'Cready, Belview ; 
James Dollard, Strand street ; Daniel Geoghegan, Kingstown ; Richard 
Ward, Townsend street ; Wm. Carey, Baggot street ; Michael Becker, 
George's street, south ; John Harris, Dawson street. 

The following challenges were made for the prisoner : — 
James Robertson, Dawson street ; Henry T. Arnott, Ormond quay ; 
William R. Jones, Monkstown ; Frederick Maunders, Simmons court ; 
Frederick Thompson, Breffni terrace ; Launcelot G. Watson, Blackrock ; 
William M. Battersby, Westmoreland street ; William Seale, Grafton 
street ; John Gibbs, Pembroke road ; Hamilton D. Athol, Upper Sackville 
street ; Joseph Lowers, Sackville street ; William Carter, Poolbeg street ; 
William Perrin, Northumberland road ; Charles A. Bayley, Finglas ; Henry 
T. Dockrell, Kingstown (who was also ordered to stand aside, but the 
prisoner having challenged first, it was counted against him). 

During the swearing of the jury Andrew Fitzpatrick, of Nassau-street, 
was challenged for the prisoner on cause shown. 

Mr. Malley proposed to make the challenge on irvo dire for the purpose 
of questioning the juror, and quoted in support of his contention that he 
could do so, the case of the Queen v Mary M'Mahon. 

Mr. Justice Barry said there was no question of challenge in that case. 
It did not lay down that when a gentleman came to take the book for the 
purpose of being sworn, and before the challenge was handed in counsel had 
a right to cross-examine him regarding his opinions. That was not the law. 
Mr. Malley thereupon handed in the necessary form of challenge, setting 
forth on parchment that Andrew Fitzpatrick did H not stand indifferently 
between our said lady the Queen and the prisoner at the bar.'' 

A ballot was made for two gentlemen to try the allegation, and Mr. 
James Shiel, of Rathcoole, and Mr. Richard Pigott, of Kingstown, were 
chosen. 

Mr. Fitzpatrick. examined by Mr. Malley, said he was in court for a 
short time during the previous trial. He was not acquainted with the 
details, and had not formed any opinion on the case, indeed he had conscien- 
tiously abstained from reading the newspaper reports of the trial, because he 
was on the panel. 

The triers accordingly found a verdict that Mr. Fitzpatrick did stand 
indifferently between the prosecution and the prisoner, and he was sworn as 
foreman. 

The following jury was then sworn ;— » 

Andrew Fitzpatrick, Nassau-street (foreman), Protestant; Thomas 
Harper, Naul, Protestant | Torrence F. M'Cullagh, Abbey-street, Protestant ; 
Peter Aungier, St. Dolough's, Catholic; James N. Davis, Rathfarnham 
Park, Protestant ; Hcniy Carleton, Eustace-street, Protestant ; William 
A. Roberts, Grand Canal-street (affirmed), Protestant ; Charles W. Harri- 
son, Brunswick-street, Protestant ; Frederick William Pirn, William-street 
(affirmed), Protestant ; Simon Tracey, Westmoreland-street, Protestant ; 
Thomas J. Thornhill, Pembroke-road, Protestant ; Thomas Sinnot, Kings- 
town, Catholic. 

The prisoner, Myles Joyce, was then indicted for the wilful murder, on 
August 18, at Maamtrasna, of Margaret Joyce, the younger. 

The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and is defended by the same counsel as 
in the preceding cases. 

The Attorney- General, in opening the case for the Crown, stated that 
the accused lived at Cappanacreha. Although that was the third time that he 
had made a statement of the horrid facts of this murder, he was not 

F 



34 

ashamed to say that he felt even then a choiring motion, which he supposed 
everybody in court felt also at that moment, and which only an anonymous 
scribbler outside would be brute enough not to feel. 

On resuming after an adjournment for luncheon, 

A Juror requested his lordship to sit as late as possible this evening so 
as to obviate the necessity of being kept from their homes on Sunday. 

Mr. Justice Barry said he had already intimated his intention of 
doing so. 

Evidence was then entered upon, the facts deposed to being re-stated. 
After Anthony Philbin's evidence, the court adjourned till ten o'clock 
this morning 



SIXTH DAY. 



CONVICTION AND SENTENCE OF MYLES JOYCE. 

{Abridged from the "Freeman" of November 20.) 



On Saturday, shortly after ten o'clock, in Green-street Courthouse, the 
trial of Myles Joyce, aged about 45 years, of Cappanacreha, for the wilful 
murder of Margaret Joyce, jun., aged 17 years, daughter of John Joyce 
and Bridget Joyce, of Maamtrasna, was resumed before Mr. Justice Barry. 
Again there was a large audience in the court, which included many ladies. 
The prisoner, sitting in a corner of the dock, gave a calm but close attention 
to the evidence. 

At the sitting of the Court, 

The Attorney-General asked the learned counsel for the defence if the 
prisoner understood English. 

Mr. Concannon replied that he thought he did not, and that it might be 
better to have the evidence of the witnesses who speak English interpreted 
to the prisoner in Irish. 

The Interpreter asked the prisoner in Irish if he understood the evidence 
that was being given in English, and informed the Court that the prisoner 
replied in the affirmative. 

Thomas Casey, the second approver, an English-speaking witness, was 
then examined by the Attorney-General. It was again found necessary to 
direct this witness several times to speak louder. 

John Collins deposed to having found Michael Joyce alive when he 
entered the house before sunrise on the morning of the 18th. 

A Juror (Mr. Pim) asked if Michael Joyce made any statement to him ? 

Mr. Justice Barry said that question need not be answered. They 
already had the statement of the doctor that Michael was raving and unable 
to make any reliable statement. 

Dr. Hegarty stated that Michael Joyce was quite irrational subsequent to 
the injuries inflicted on him. Margaret Joyce (for whose murder the pri- 
soner is on trial) died from injuries inflicted by some heavy weapon. Her 
skull was smashed in. 

The evidence of Sub-Inspector Philips and Mr. Gardiner, R.M., closed 
the case for the Crown at half -past eleven. 

Mr. Malley then opened the prisoner's defence. 

Mr. Murphy replied on behalf of the Crown. 

Mr. Justice Barry summed up. 

The jury retired at three o'clock. At six minutes past that hour they 
entered the box and announced a verdict of 

Guilty. 
The Clerk of the Crown informed him in the usual language of the 
result. He listened with a quiet but melancholy expression of face, inclin- 
ing his head to the right. When the Clerk of the Crown had concluded he 



35 

still kept his eyes fixed upon the Bench , made no attempt to respond, and 
seemed like a man who had only the vaguest notion of what was going on. 
The interpreter, Constable Evans, was called by direction of the learned 
judge, and he communicated to the prisoner in Irish the fact that he had 
been found guilty. A change then came upon the prisoner. He showed a 
little fear, and clutched the bar of the dock, but, looking upwards with a 
fervent expression and attitude of invocation, spoke in Irish. The interpre- 
ter rendered it as follows— He leaves it to God. and the Virgin above his 
head. He had no dealing with it, no more than the person who was never 
born, nor had he against anyone else. For the last twenty years he had done 
no harm, and if he had, might he never go to heaven. He was as clear of this 
as the child yet to be born. He slept in his bed with his wife that night, and 
he had no knowledge about it whatever. He is quite content with whatever 
the gentlemen may do to him, but whether he is to be hung or crucified he 
is as free as he can be. 

The above statement, was made and interpreted by sentences. It 
merely conveys the tenor, not the full words of the condemned man, who, in 
making the protestation, frequently invoked the Son of God. Though ex- 
hibiting considerable emotion, the prisoner did not lose his self-control in 
the slightest degree. The scene was very painful, and it scarcely added to 
its solemnity to observe the many ladies who were amongst the audience, 
and the obtrusive manner in which the thronged courthouse gazed with the 
curiosity of interest, rather than of feeling, upon the condemned and sorrow- 
ful-looking man. The prisoner's counsel was much moved by the scene, 
and the learned judge showed considerable emotional feeling. 

His lordship then sentenced the prisoner to be executed in Gal way 
Jail on December 15th, the same day as the two prisoners previously sen- 
tenced. 

The condemned man, touched on the shoulder by the dock warder, then 
turned slowly away, and with a step, lingering and sorrowful, and a heavy 
sigh, with which there was an indistinct exclamation in Irish, audible only 
to a portion of the courthouse, he desoendod to the cells. 

The jury was then discharged. 



#f 



'•► 



ll .-• 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF TUAM'S LETTER. 



The Loud Lieutenant's Eeply to the Letter of the Archbishop 

of Tuam. 



The following is the full text of the communication addressed to his 
Grace the Archbishop of Tuam by the Under Secretary, in obedience to the 
directions of his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant :— 

"The Castle, Dublin, August 23rd, 1884. 

" My Lord Archbishop — I am directed by the Lord Lieutenant to 
inform your Grace that your letter of the 13th instant, the receipt of which 
was acknowledged by his Excellency the following day, has received his most 
careful consideration. 

" Before the receipt of your Grace's letter attention had been drawn in 
the House of Commons to the allegation that Thomas Casey, one of the 
murderers of the Joyce family at Maamtrasna on the 17th August, 1882, 
who had been accepted as an informer, and had given evidence on the trial, 
had made a statement to the effect that the evidence he had given on that 
occasion was false. Immediately thereupon his Excellency gave instruc- 
tions that the truth of this statement should be tested in connection with 
the whole circumstances of the trial, and the subsequent history of the wit- 
ness himself. 

" It is not usual for his Excellency to enter into details in communicat- 
ing his decision on criminal cases, but the present instance is one of such 
gravity, and the statements alleged to have been made have attracted so 
much public attention from your Grace's letter, that he has determined to 
depart from his usual custom, and to put the circumstances of the case fully 
before you. 

" He has, as your Grace has requested, inquired fully into the allega- 
tions now made by the informers. He forwards to your Grace a memoran- 
dum prepared under his immediate directions, and which has his entire 
approval, setting forth the results of that inquiry. From this memorandum 
your Grace will perceive that there was ample evidence at the trial, given by 
three unimpeached and independent witnesses, to convict all the prisoners 
without the evidence of Thomas Casey or Anthony Philbin, and that their 
recent statements do not shake that testimony, which plainly established that 
Myles Joyce and the prisoners now undergoing penal servitude were them- 
selves members of the party who participated in, or actually committed, the 
murders of the Joyce family. 

" With regard to the actual commission of the murders, his Excellency 
would observe that an idea seems to prevail in the minds of some persons 
that the guilt of murder is only attached to those who actually fire the shot 
or strike the blow which causes death. Such an erroneous idea on the part 
of some of the participators in this horrible tragedy may account for their 
assertion of the innocence of those members of the party who, although they 
aided and countenanced the murders by their presence, and were, therefore, 
morally and legally guilty of the crime, may not with their own hands have 
inflicted the wounds which caused the death of their victims. 

" I now come to the other point raised in your Grace's letter. A court 

of law can only act on the evidence placed before it, and, deplorable as it 

would have been, had it been shown that it had in this case been misled by 

he fals.e swearing of perjured witnesses, the matter becomes far more serious 



37 

when it is alleged that the course of justice was perverted by the action of 
officers of the Crown. The statement which your Grace says Thomas Casey 
made amounts to this, viz — « That he was told by the official that unless he 
swore against Myles Joyce, though innocent, he himself would surely ba 
hanged ; that he got twenty minutes for deliberation, and then from terror 
of death swore as had been suggested to him.' 

" This is so serious a charge, striking as it does at the root of all confi- 
dence in the administration of the law, that the Lord Lieutenant has strictly 
inquired into the matter to see if the allegation has any colour of foundation 
— an allegation which no man should lightly entertain on the unsupported 
assertion of witnesses who aver themselves to have been perjured. 

" The communications which took place with Thomas Casey, when he 
had volunteered to give evideace, and was accepted as an informer, are fully 
detailed in the memorandum which accompanies this letter. His Excellency 
has no doubt, after the careful examination which has been made of the 
three officials with whom these communications took place, that none of 
them used any improper means of approaching the prisoners, and that the 
statement above reported by your Grace to have been made by Thomas 
Casey is absolutely false. 

"His Excellency feels as strongly as your Grace can the calamity which 
would be involved if innocent men were punished for an offence which they 
had not committed, but, after the fullest inquiry of which the case admits, he 
has arrived at a clear conclusion that the verdict and the sentence wore right 
and just. 

** I have the honour to be, 

(i My Lord Archbishop, 

il Your Grace's obedient servant, 

<; ft, G. C. Hamilton. 

" His Grace the Most Rev. Archbishop 

" John M'Evilly, D.D., Balliurobe." 

The following is the memorandum referred to in the above communi- 
cation : — 

"Attention having been called in the House of Commons, on the 11th 
instant, to certain statements alleged to have been made by Thomas Casey 
(one of the murderers of the Joyce family at Maamtrasna on the 17th 
August, 1882), who was accepted as an approver on the trials of the persons 
convicted of that crime, the Marquis of Hartington stated that if those state- 
ments were vouched for by the dignitary of the Roman Catholic Church (the 
Archbishop of Tuam), before whom they were stated to have been made, 
and were formally brought before the Government, they would receive their 
careful consideration. Since then the Archbishop has brought before his 
Excellency the statements made by Thomas Casey, and his Excellency has 
carefully considered those statements, and, at the same time, reviewed all 
the facts connected with the murders, and the trials arising out of them, and 
lias called for and obtained the fullest information in reference to the state- 
ments so made, and the character and conduct of Thomas Casey. 

'* In adopting this course his Excellency has made the fullest inquiry 
which the circumstances of the case admit of. The allegations submitted by 
the Archbishop consist of two parts — (I) That the evidence given by Thomas 
Casey at the trial was false, and (2) that undue pressure had been put upon 
him to give evidence. 

" As regards (1) the only method by which this can be tested is by com- 
paring the retractation now made with the opposing statements previously 
sworn to, and with the other evidence in the case of the only witnesses who 
had cognisance of the facts, and who were as much witness-in-chief to the 
crime as the informers themselves. No other conceivable description of in- 
quiry could elicit whether the falsehoods which Thos. Casey tells are in his 
present or in his former statements, which are directly contradictory of each 



38 

other, with relation to the same facts. This comparison has been made with 
the utmost care, and its results are given in this memorandum. 

" As regards (2) a careful examination has been made of all the officials 
of the Crown with whom Thomas Casey was in communication respecting 
his evidence, and the results of this examination ■ are also given in this 
memorandum. 

" But, to make the case clear, it is also necessary to state, as succinctly 
and clearly as possible, the circumstances of the murder, the proceedings at 
the trial, and the other facts of the case. 

" The murders in question were committed on the night of Thursday, 
the 17th, or morning of Friday, the 18th August, 1882, at Maamtrasna, 
in the County of Galway. Early on the morning of the latter day a man 
named John Collins, having gone to the house of Joyce, found the door off 
its hinges, and on entering, John Joyce, his mother, his wife, and his 
daughter were found murdered, and his sons, Michael and Patrick, seriously 
wounded, the latter of whom, however, subsequently recovered. John Joyce 
was lying on the kitchen floor, with two revolver bullet-wounds in his side, 
and a deep cut on his head. His wife was dead in bed, with several bullet 
wounds. His daughter was dead in bed, with her skull broken. His mother 
was also lying dead. His son, Michael Joyce, was alive, but with 
bullet wounds in his neck and stomach, from the effects of which he after- 
wards died. 

" On the night of the following day (Saturday), or early morning of 
Sunday, ten persons were arrested by the police on the charge of having been 
parties to the commission of the murders. Their names were — 

Anthony Philbin, 

Thomas Casey, 

Martin Joyce, 

Myles Joyce, 

Patrick Joyce, > father and son, of 

Tom Joyce, ) Cappanacreeha, 

Patrick Casey, 

John Casey, 

Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill ; and 

Michael Casey. 
" These ten men were arrested in consequence of information furnished 
to the police by three men living in the locality, who detailed in the fullest 
and clearest manner the circumstances connected with the murder, and two 
of whom identified the entire ten arrested, including Myles Joyce, as being 
the persons forming the party who were concerned in the murder. The 
third identified nine of the party, including Myles Joyce, and stated there 
was a tenth man, whom, however, he did not know. 

" The circumstances of the murder as described by these three witnesses 
will be stated later on, when the proceedings of the trial are detailed ; but it 
is well to mention here that the three witnesses referred to were — 

" (1). Persons of unimpeached character, having no connection of any 
kind with the murder. 

" (2). Two of them were the first cousins of John Joyce, the murdered 
man, and the third was also his cousin. The three stood in the same 
degree of relationship to Myles Joyce (now alleged to be innocent). 
The three lived close to Myles Joyce, and within a few hundred 
yards of his house, and had known him all their lives. They had 
also known all their lives the five men who pleaded guilty at the 
trial, and whose sentences were subsequently commuted to penal 
servitude for life, and four of whom are now alleged to be innocent. 

"(3). On the night of the murder they followed the murderers over 

• two miles, as the party moved towards John Joyce's house, and up 

to its very door, keeping them constantly in view, and were close to 



39 

them on several occasions, and had full opportunities of identifying 

tke persons composing the party. 

u (4). Those witnesses have never wavered in their evidence, or in the 
identification of the persons composing the party. They were exa- 
mined at the several trials and cross-examined by counsel for the 
prisoners, and nothing was suggested against their characters. 

" The ten persons I have named, having been arrested almost imme- 
diately after the murder, were brought before the magistrates, and, on the 
evidence of the three persons referred to, committed for trial at the ensuing 
Galway Assizes. 

" Subsequently, in pursuance of the provisions of the Prevention of 
Crimes Act, the trial was changed to Dublin, and the trials took place in 
the following month of November before Mr. Justice (now Lord Justice) 
Barry and special jurors of the city and county of Dublin. 

M At these trials Anthony Joyce, John Joyce, and Patk. Joyce, the three 
persons referred to, were examined, and proved as follows : — 

" Anthony Joyce lived at a place called Cappanacreeha, somewhat more 
than two miles from Maamtrasna. Late on the night of the murder he 
heard his dogs barking, and looking out saw six persons approaching in the 
direction of the house along the road which runs close to it, but whom he 
could not recognise then in the distance. Thinking it an unusual occurence, 
he came out from his house, and making a short cut came behind a wall skirt- 
ing the road along which the party wag passing, and from there saw the 
party passing quite close, and recognised as the persons composing it Anthony 
Philbin, Thomas Casey, Martin Joyce, Myles Joyce, Patrick Joyce, and 
Thomas Joyce. The last four named he had known, as he himself described 
it, from the time he grew up. 

" As the party passed on Anthony Joyce made a detour to avoid being 
seen, and came on to his brother's house, into which he went and aroused 
is brother and his brother's son Patrick, who immediately came out. The 
suspicions of the three being aroused, they followed after the party of six, 
who proceeded on to the house of Michael Casey (one of the prisoners), into 
which they went. After a short time they came out, and wifh them also 
came four others, viz : — Michael Casey, John Casey, Patrick Casey, and 
Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, the last two of whom were subsequently 
executed. 

"Mary Joyce, daughter of John Joyce, was next examined, and proved 
distinctly that on the night of the murder her uncle Anthony came to her 
father's house when they were all in bed and roused him, that he said there 
were parties on the road, and that her father and brother got up, and they 
and Anthony all went out and did not return until about break of day. 

"No attempt was made to shake her evidence, which left no doubt 
whatever as to the fact of the Joyces having been out at the time, and under 
the circumstances described by them. 

" The ten then proceeded on towards John Joyce's house, at Maam- 
trasna, and in so doing passed within a few yards of the three Joyces, who 
were behind a bush, and from there Anthony Joyce and John Joyce saw 
and identified the ten persons forming the party. Patrick Joyce saw and 
identified nine of them, and saw the remaining man (Philbin) whom he did 
not know. When they passed, the three Joyces followed after them, and in 
their evidence described minutely the route taken. 

" When the party arrived at John Joyce's house they proceeded into 
the yard and up to the door, which was broken in by some of them, and the 
three Joyces, who remained close by, heard immediately afterwards scream- 
ing and screeching and noises from inside, where the dreadful tragedy was 
being enacted. 

" From the evidence of Patrick Joyce it appeared that some of the party 
entered the house and that some remained outside, but he was not able to 
distinguish who went in and who remained out. 



40 

" All three witnesses proved distinctly that the entire party entered the 
yard in front of the house. 

" Previous to the trials coming on, two of the prisoners, viz : — Anthony 
Philbin and his brother-in-law, Thomas Casey, volunteered to give informa- 
tion, and asked to be accepted as witnesses on behalf of the Crown. In the 
hope that by so doing the origin of the murder and its motive and the per- 
sons by whom it was plotted and directed might be discovered, the Crown 
accepted the two men as approvers, and they were examined at the trial. 
Their evidence coincided fully with the evidence of the three Joyces as to 
who the persons were composing the party and as to the movements of the 
murderers on the night in question. 

t( Philbin further stated that he saw Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, 
Patrick Casey, and Myles Joyce entering the house after the door was broken 
in.. Thomas Casey, the other informer, stated that as the party proceeded 
along after leaving Michael Casey's house they were joined by the two 
strange men, named Nee and Kelly, who walked in front, and that the per- 
sons who entered the house after the door was broken in were the three 
named by Philbin, and also the two strange men, Nee and Kelly, and that he 
(Casey) was not one of the persons who entered. 

" Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, was the first person tried, and on the 
evidence I have detailed the jury convicted him, and he was sentenced to 
death. He protested before being sentenced that he was not guilty. 

" Patrick Casey was the next person tried, and he also was convicted 
and sentenced to death. Before being sentenced he protested he had nothing 
k> do with the murder. 

" Myles Joyce was the third person tried, and was also convicted and 
sentenced to death. Before being sentenced he also protested his innocence. 

" Michael Casey was the next person put on trial, but before the trial 
concluded his leading counsel applied to the court for permission on his be- 
half, and on behalf of the four prisoners remaining untried, to withdraw 
their pleas of " not guilty," and to plead guilty ; and permission having been 
given, the five prisoners severally pleaded guilty. After so pleading, their 
counsel in open court appealed to the Attorney- General for the merciful 
consideration of the Crown. 

" Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, Patrick Casey, and Myles Joyce 
were subsequently executed on the 15th December, 1882, in Gal way Jail, for 
the crime for which they had been convicted. His Excellency commuted the 
sentence of death passed on the five others to penal servitude for life. 

"It is now alleged that Myles Joyce, who was convicted on the clear 
and convincing evidence I have detailed, was innocent of the murder, and 
that four of the remaining prisoners against whom the evidence was the 
same, and who themselves pleaded guilty to the charge, were likewise inno- 
cent, and this contention is attempted to be supported by the statements 
already referred to as having been lately made by Thomas Casey, the appro- 
ver. These statements are that his evidence at the trial was false, and that 
Myles Joyce was innocent ; that he had offered to give evidence against the 
guilty parties, but was told unless he swore against Myles Joyce, though 
innocent, he would be hanged; That he got twenty minutes to deliberate, 
and that under this compulsion he swore falsely against him, and also swore 
falsely against four of the men now suffering penal servitude, and who 
themselves pleaded guilty at the trial, and, furthermore, that his brother-in- 
law, Philbin, who was identified by the three Joyces, and who was himself 
the first to become an informer and admit his participation in the crime, is 
also innocent, and was not there at all; and it is further alleged that 
Philbin has made a similar statement as to his evidence having been impro- 
perly obtained from him. 

"Having regard to the gravity of the charges so made, it becomes 
necesssary most carefully to review the evidence in the case, and all the facts 
connected with it, and also the circumstances under which the evidence of 



41 

Casey and Philbin was originally given and accepted, and the circumstances 
under which their present statements have been made, with the view of see- 
ing whether any grounds exist for doubting the correctness of the verdicts 
arrived at, and also whether there is any foundation for the charges made 
against the Crown officials referred to. 

" The case was not one resting wholly or mainly on the evidence of the 
informers Casey and Philbin. The evidence of three witnesses of un- 
blemished character proved conclusively the guilt of Myles Joyce and the 
nine others. or did the case rest merely on circumstantial evidence. The 
evidence given proved direct participation in the crime, and was based on the 
positive indentification of the accused, who formed one party engaged in one 
common object, by three eye-witnesses who knew them well, and whose 
characters were not impeached. The identification was not one arising from 
a mere momentary or casual glance at the persons identified. The three 
Joyces followed the murderers for a space of upwards of two miles, and were 
close to them several times. Neither was it an identification taking place 
after a lapse of time. On the day next after the murders the witnesses gave 
the names of the ten persons and description of the circumstances connected 
with the murders, from which they never varied. 

" There is no conceivable reason or motive on the part of the Crown, or 
any of its officials, nor has any been suggested, why Myles Joyce or any of 
the others (if innocent) would have been singled out and an effort made to 
convict them. They were arrested and prosecuted on the one ground — that 
the information given by the three Joyces was fully believed, and left no 
doubt as to the guilt of the ten. 

" As against evidence of the character given by the Joyces, and which 
was not in any manner shaken by the cross-examination to which they were 
subjected, his Excellency cannot give credence or attach the slightest weight 
to statements of persons such as Casey and Philbin, who, after the interval 
which has elapsed, now say that they perjured themselves at the trial. 

*' These two persons, Casey and Philbin. some time after the trials, went 
back to reside at their own houses, close to the Maamtrasna district, and on 
returning, as there was a strong feeling against them as informers, they 
received police protection. His Excellency finds from the reports furnished 
by the constabulary, that constant efforts were made by Casey's wife, who 
is Philbin's sister, to induce Casey to come forward and state that his 
evidence at the trial was untrue, but these efforts were unsuccessful, until 
the commencement of the present month, and up to that period neither Casey 
nor Philbin ever asserted that their evidence was untrue, but on the contrary, 
adhered to it and re-affirmed it. Furthermore, on the 20th of May last Casey 
was examined at the investigation held in Ballinrobe on the occasion of the 
children of the murdered man claiming compensation for their father's 
murder. He was not examined as a witness for the Crown, but for the claim- 
ants. He did not then state that his former evidence was in any respect 
untrue, and distinctly swore that Philbin (who he now says was innocent) 
was at the murder. 

" Furthermore, on the 2Sth July, he volunteered a statement to District 
Inspector Stokes, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, implicating two persons 
in the murder in addition to the ten originally arrested, and which statement 
was taken down in writing. It is true that after giving that statement he 
did attempt to say that Philbin was not at the murder, but when asked as to 
Myles Joyce he said he was there, but did not go in. 

" I come now to the very serious charge which has been made against 
an official. It is stated that Casey had been induced, under threats of 
capital punishment, to swear away the life of Myles Joyce ; that he offered 
to give information against the guilty parties ; that he was told by the 
official that unless he swore against Myles Joyce, though innocent, he him- 
self would be hanged ; that he got twenty minutes to deliberate, and then, 
from terror of death, swore as had been suggested to him. There is not the 



42 

smallest foundation for any one of these statements. Gasey was never asked 
to become a witness or to give evidence. On the 1 1th November, 1882, being 
two days previous to the commencement of the trials, he wrote a note to Mr 
Bolton, Crown Solicitor, as follows : — 

" Mr. Bolton,— I want to see you in Kilmainham Prison amediately. I 
have a little emportant statiment to make to your oner, — I am, your 
obedient servant, 

" Thomas Casey. 

" I want to see you soon here." 

" This note was written by Casey, and handed by him to the governor, 
with a request that he would have it sent to Mr. Bolton, and it was accord- 
ingly transmitted, and until the receipt of it Mr. Bolton had never spoken to 
the man, nor had he ever seen him except when brought up as a prisoner in 
court. The Attorney- G-eneral at the time was in London, and Mr. Bolton 
at once consulted the counsel for the prosecution, who directed him to see 
Casey, and be in a position to report to the Attorney. General on his return 
what his evidence would be, but to take no statement, and hold out no hope 
to Casey that he would be accepted as an approver without the Attorney- 
General's authority. Mr. Bolton thereupon went to the prison, and saw the 
prisoner, not in his cell, but in the governor's office. The governor was 
present at this interview, no other persons being there, and it is untrue that 
Mr. Bolton used any threat to the prisoner, or made any suggestion to him 
as to what his evidence should be, or in any manner whatever pressed him. 
Mr. Bolton told him what he had been directed to tell him by the Crown 
counsel, and Casey then told Mr. Bolton what he had to prove in reference 
to the murder, which closely corresponded with his subsequent written 
statement. 

" It is to be remembered that this happened on Saturday, the trials being 
fixed to commence on the following Monday, and that the rcase was considered 
by the Crown as being perfectly complete and conclusive against all the 
prisoners. 

" The nature of Casey's evidence having been reported to the Attorney- 
General, it was determined to accept him as an approver. 

" On the following Monday all the prisoners were brought down to 
Green-street. Immediately on their arrival Casey sent a message to Mr. 
Bolton by the governor, saying he was anxious to see him. Mr. Bolton 
thereupon went down to the passage below the court into which the cells 
open, accompanied by the governor and Mr. Brady, R.M. The governor 
called Casey out, and Casey was then informed by Mr. Bolton that his 
evidence would be accepted, provided he told the entire truth, and that as he 
(Mr. Bolton) had no time to take his statement in writing, Mr. Brady would 
take it. The governor and Mr. Brady state that nothing further was said 
by Mr. Bolton, and that he immediately left, as the first trial — that of Patrick 
Joyce — was commencing. The governor also left as he had to be in court, 
and Casey remained alone with Mr. Brady, to whom he then and there gave 
his statement. It was taken down on paper by Mr. Brady from Casey's lips, 
Mr. Bolton not being present, and when taken down was read over by Mr 
Brady to Casey, and signed by the latter. 

" The statement is as f ollows : — 

STATEMENT OF THOMAS CASEY, OF GLENSAUL, IN THE COUNTY OF MAYO. 

" On the day previous to the murder of the Joyces at Maamtrasna, Pat 
Casey, of Derry, came to my place and told me to go over to Derry the next 
night, and to bring Anthony Philbin with me. On the night of the murder 
I went to Philbin' s, and met him outside his own house — a little above it. 1 
told him to come with me to Derry, that we were to meet some of the boys, 
and that Pat Casey told me to bring him. Philbin said we had better go or 
that we would get wrong over it. Between Martin Joyce's and Myles Joyce's 
house, we met Myles Joyce, Pat Joyce, of Cappanacreha, and his son Tom. 
We walked on towards Michael Casey's house, and on the way met Martin 



43 

Joyce, who came with us. We went into Michael Casey's house. I went in 
and the others, but I am not certain if Anthony Philbin went in. In the house 
I saw Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, Michael Casey, John Casey, and Pat 
Casey, all of Derry. We stopped a few minutes in the house, and then we all 
went out in the direction of Maamtrasna. We went down the boreen after we 
left Michael Casey's and after some time went into the fields and across the 
bog. We only went a short distance in the boreen. About a quarter of a mile 
from Michael Casey's house we were joined by two men, Pat Kelly and 
Michael Nee. The latter is a pedlar. We all went to John Joyce's house at 
Maamtrasna. I saw Patric* Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, and Pat Casey, of 
Derry, and Myles Joyce, of Capanacreha, go up to the door and push it 'in 
and I saw Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, go into the house, and also Kelly 
and Nee, and then I heard shots and screeches. I stopped at the gable end of 
the barn on the street. After about ten minutes in the house they came out 
and we all went away towards home the way we had come. Those that went 
into the house that night got a light in it. I had a revolver nearly two years 
ago. It was left me by Michael Nee to keep for him until he would come 
by again. I gave it to him the next time he came to my house. I have 
not had a revolver since. 

" (Signed), 

u Thomas Casey." 

(Present — Signed, A. Newton Brady, R.M.) 

"Now it is to be observed that, according to the report which has ap- 
peared in the public papers of Casey's present statement, he alleges that at 
the interview which occurred on the morning of the trial, and at which he 
states Mr. Brady and the governor were present, Mr. Bolton told him he was 
getting a chance of saving his neck from the gallows, that he would give 
him twenty minutes to say yes or no, and if he did not say yes he would be 
the fourth man put on trial, and would surely be hanged. That he (Casey) 
said nothing for about ten minutes, and that Mr. Bolton then brought him 
to another room, where they were alone, and that then, after further threats 
on Mr. Bolton's part, he (Casey) started to give his evidence? Mr. Bolton, 
Mr. Brady, and the governor all state that there is not a particle of truth in 
this statement ; that Mr. Bolton said nothing except what has been already 
mentioned ; that he left immediately ; that no statement whatever was taken 
by Mr. Bolton ; and that the statement made was taken by Mr. Bradj, Mr. 
Bolton not being present. 

" As regards Philbin, there are no grounds either for the assertion that 
any pressure was put upon him by any Crown official, or evidence extracted 
from him by any improper means. He was never asked or solicited to give 
evidence. He himself volunteered to give it, and for that purpose on the 
4th November wrote a note in the following terms : — 

" Kilmainham Prison, Wednesday. 
"Sir — I have a few words of important matter concerning the Maam- 
trasna murder. Crown Solicitor, tell him only. 

(Signed), 

" Anthony PHiLBrN." 

This note was forwarded by the governor, in the discharge of his offi- 
cial duty, to the General Prisons Board, and from thence was transmitted 
on the 6th November to Mr. Bolton, who had never previously spoken to 
Philbin, and had never seen him (except when brought up a prisoner in 
court). 

After receiving the note, Mr. Bolton, by the directions of the Crown 
Counsel, went and saw Philbin, and was told by him what evidence he could 
give, but took no statement. He again saw Philbin on the 9th and 10th 



44 

November, and took statements from him on both these days, -which state- 
ments are as follows : — 

(Copy). 

" I Oth November, 1882. 

" Statement of Anthony Philbin, of Cappaduff, in the county of Maj r o 
— Thomas Casey, of Gensaul, is married to my sister. About three weeks 
before the Joyces, of Maamtrasna, were murdered I was talking to him in 
Glensaul Bog (we were working at turf). I knew he had a revolver, and I 
asked him where he had it ; that it was dangerous to keep it now. He told 
me he had lent it to his friends in the county of Galway, and if he had a few 
bullets from Durkan he would soon pay them a visit. 

il On the evening the Joyces were murdered I was at Patrick Quinn's 
wake, at Churchfield, which is about a quarter of a mile from my house. 
I went home when the night was falling. In a short time after going home 
I went out to see if there was any trespass on my crops, and at some distance 
from the house I met Tom Casey. He asked me to go to Derry with him. 
He said we will meet some of the boys. I went with him — we went across 
the mountains. After we crossed the river at Cappanacreeha, we saw three 
men coming down towards us. They joined us after some time. They 
were Myles Joyce, Patrick Joyce, of Cappanacreeha, and his son, Thomas 
Joyce. We walked on some distance together towards Derry, and after 
some distance, Martin Joyce came through the fields, and we all went to- 
gether to the house of one of the Casey's of Derry. They all went in except 
myself. I remained outside. They only stopped a short time in when they 
came out. 

''Michael Casey, John Casey, and Patrick Casey, all of Derry, and Patrick 
Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, came out with them. We then went along from 
Casey's in the direction of Maamtrrsaa. After some time we got into a 
field and crossed - some little ditches, I a3ked Martin Joyce where were 
they going. He said there is a boy here beyond and any good-looking sheep 
he sees with the neighbours he puts them to his own use, and we are~ going 
to pay him a visit. "We went along until we came on the street at Maam- 
trasna. I did not know it was Maamtrasna at that time. Three of the men, 
Patrick Joyce, of Shanvallycahill, Fat Casey, of Derry, and Myles Joyce, 
of Cappanacreeha, broke in the door and went into the house. I was stand- 
ing outside. I heard screeches, and immediately I heard a shot. The very 
moment I heard the shot I got frightened, and ran away ; and when I was 
a distance away I heard another shot. I never stopped until I got home. 

" While I was there I did not see anyone going into the house but 
Patrick Joyce, Patrick Casey, and Myles Joyce. I saw a revolver with 
Patrick Joyce at the house of John Joyce, of Maamtrasna. 

•' The above is all perfectly true. 

" (Signed) 

" Anthony Philbin. 

" Present— (Signed) George Bolton." 

(Copy). 

9th November, 1882. 

" I, Anthony Philbin, of Cappaduff, in the county Mayo, state as 
follows : — 

" On the evening, before the Joyces, of Maamtrasna. were murdered, I 
was at the wake of Patrick Quinn, of Churchfield. 

" After nightfall I left the wakehouse to go home ; my home is about a 
quarter of a mile from the wakehoiise, the road is through the village of 
Cappaduff, and there were people going backwards and forwards. 

" After I went into my own house, I put my coat on the line, and then 
went out to look at my crops and see if there was any trespass. 

" A short distance from my house I met Thomas Casey, of Glensaul. 
He asked me would I accompany him to Derry. I said I would, and we 
went away there. We went through the fields and mountains, 



15 

u When we crossed the river some distance at Cappanacrceha'we ?aw 
three men coming down the field. After some time those three men came 
on to the road where we were. They are — Myles Joyce, Patrick Joyce, and 
Patrick's son, and Tom Joyce, but I did not know him at the time. 

" We walked on towards Casey's. When we were getting near Casey's, 
Martin Joyce came to us, and we all went to Casey's house. 

" There were others about Casey's house joined us, and wo went down 
under Casey's house. I asked Martin Joyce where were they going. He 
told me there was a boy there beyond that was taking all the good sheep in 
the village and putting them to his own use, and that they were going to 
pay him a visit. We went away towards the place they were going to (I 
did not know the place). 

" When we came on the street, at the house, three men of them threw the 
door open and went in— that's Patrick Casey, of Dcrry ; Patrick Joyce, of 
Shanvallycahill ; and Myles Joyce, Cappanera. Noise started in the hous3 
and I heard a screech, and in an instant I heard a shot. I then heard more 
screeches and noises. I got frightened, and am frightened yet. I ran as 
hard as I could until I got home, and I was afraid they would kill myself 
the next night for leaving them. 

(Signed) "Anthony Philbin.'' 

" Present— (Signed) Geo. Bolton." 

" Mr. Bolton saw Philbin in the Governor's office, and not in his cell, 
and is positive that the Governor was present on each occasion. The 
Governor recollects clearly two of these occasions, but is less precise in his 
recollection aa to the third. He is, however, positive that on no occasion 
was any threat or inducement of any kind held out to the prisoner, or any 
pressure put upon him. He was told by Mr. Bolton lie should tell the entire 
truth, and, as the Governor states, appeared most anxious to communicate 
what he had to tell. 

" The Governor further states that Philbin, on the 4th November, and 
before he saw Mr. Bolton, sent two messages to him (the Governor), and on 
receipt of the last ho was bi'ought to the Governor's office and commenced 
to make statements to him, but the Governor, not considcri»g it part of his 
duty to take such a statement, informed Philbin that if he had any statements 
to make he might communicate with the Crown Solicitor, and would be 
furnished with paper and ink for the purpose. 

" As regards this man Philbin, now alleged to be innocent, it will be 
thus seen that ho was positively identified by Anthony and John Joyce, and 
that he himself was the first to volunteer evidence and admit his participa- 
tion in the crime ; and there is this further circumstance which should be 
adverted to in connection with his case — viz., that when Patrick Joyce, of 
Shanvallycahill (who was afterwards executed, having previously admitted 
his guilt), was arrested on the night of the 19th, or the morning of the 20th 
August following the murder, he asked the constable who arrested him, 
and who knew nothing of Philbin, whether he had heard that Philbin 
was arrested, adding, "I suppose if he is he will be taken by the Cappaduff 
men to Ballinrobe," showing that he was conscious of Philbin's participation 
in the murders. 

" The evidence which I have thus detailed completely satisfied his Ex- 
cellency of the guilt of the three persons convicted. It also satisfied the 
judge who presided, and the three successive juries who tried them. Five of 
the remainder of the party, against whom the evidence was the same, 
pleaded guilty, and the remaining" two, who became approvers, admitted 
their own guilt, and gave evidence, which did no more than coincide 
with the independent evidence of three untainted witnesses, who proved the 
guilt of the entire party, with the exception that the two approvers in their 
evidence particularised which of the party entered the house. Even if it 
were the case that Myles Joyce was one of those who did not enter, who 
remained outside, that circumstance could not affect or lessen his response- 



46 

bility, as each and every member of the party, which on that night went to 
John Joyce's house, was legally and morally guilty of the murder. 

" It is well here to advert to a matter connected with the case which has 
been more than once made the subject of public comment — viz., that two of 
the men executed for the murder— namely, Patrick Joyce and Patrick 
Casey, in the statement made— one two days and the other one day before 
their execution— asserted the innocence of Myles Joyce. To those state- 
ments at the time his Excellency gave all the weight to which they were 
entitled, and they formed the subject of most anxious consideration, and 
havino* 'done so, his Excellency saw no sufficient reason for acting on such 
statements as against the clear and conclusive case made upon the trial. 

" Neither of those men ventured to say that Myles Joyce was not one 
of the party, and their entire statements, even if credited, were perfectly con- 
sistent with the fact that Myles Joyce, though he might not have been pre- 
sent in the house, striking one of the blows or firing one of the shots which 
caused the murders, was yet a guilty participator in the common design 
under which the murder was carried out, he having been traced continuously 
on the fatal night as one of the party some of whom unquestionably com- 
mitted the murders. 

" Having satisfied himself after the fullest inquiry that the verdicts in 
the several cases were right, and that the statements of Casey and Philbin 
now made are wholly unreliable, his Excellency has come to the conclusion 
that no grounds exist for interfering with the course of the law in respect 
of the prisoners now undergoing penal servitude. 

" (Signed), 

"Pv. G. C. Hamilton." 

23rdAugufet, 1884 




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